Step 1 is finding out what causes stress and recognizing how that stressor affects you emotionally.
Has stress increased for you during the COVID-19 Pandemic? What is worse? Share your thoughts and I may be able to make some suggestions, that’s what I’m here for. Please give me a specific example, for instance
“As a caregiver, it is very stressful when…”
Some people respond to stress with outbursts while other people shut down emotionally. How are you doing emotionally? One problem is anxiety, which is as harmful to your emotional wellbeing as hypertension is to your physical wellbeing. Are you SAAD*?
- Sleep: Are you having problems sleeping or are you sleeping more than usual?
- Appetite: Have you lost your appetite or started eating more to calm anxiety?.
- Anger or irritability: More than usual other people irritate you. OR, you are irritating other people?
- Drinking drugs, down: Are you using drugs or alcohol due to the stress? Are you “down” on yourself; thinking you are not capable?
Anxiety is like pain. You should NOT ignore it. Your emotions need daily care for you to be at your best. The person you are caring for, even if that person has dementia, can feel when you are uncaring, anxious or annoyed. Bottling up your emotions is harmful and can lead you to dreading your day. At that point you are not able to take care of anyone else because you are not taking care of yourself.
If you are having stress, write to me and give me a specific example of what is causing the stress, for instance “As a caregiver, it is very stressful when…” Your description doesn’t need to be long. Also let me know how you are feeling. Are you feeling SAAD* Even though I am not your personal doctor, I believe that it helps when you “get things off your chest”. I will be sure to read and respond.
Be connected, stay strong
P.S. My next blog is Step 2. Ways to manage anxiety. Sometimes you can manage stress by yourself or with a friend. Sometimes a health professional and/or a spiritual guide is very important. If you feel like hurting yourself, confide in someone you trust right away. You can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or send a message to the Crisis Text Line (Text “HOME” To 741741). Services like these are actively ramping up their support networks amid the pandemic.