Managing Stress

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Stress is just a fact of life in our fast-paced society. We try to remedy it by planning vacations or down time. But more often than not the stress-free activities are equally, if not more, stressful than the day to day. Yet, if stress is a fact of life, does it have to be a fact of YOUR life? Probably not. Sometimes reducing the stress is just a matter of learning to say "no." Setting boundaries with family and friends, employers and community.  Reducing your own expectations about how much you "should" be able to shoulder. Seeing your limitations realistically. Self-acceptance.

It's Your Choice

Reducing stress is your choice to make. It requires commitment and setting priorities and creating the life-style that you want. Helpful tools include mindfulness practices, meditation, physical exercise, healthy eating, lowering the volume of ( ....everything), slowing down (....everything). Just for starters.

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When It's Not Your Choice

Sometimes life happens. Our choices become severely limited. The stress of becoming a full-time caretaker of a loved one is just one example. Caretaker stress is a common theme in families these days as our population ages and life-expectancy rises. Self-care comes into direct conflict with "care giving." It is a huge burden that can have serious physical and emotional consequences. And yet, the same principles that apply to stress reduction in everyday life also apply to the significant stresses of caretaking--setting boundaries, letting go of "shoulds," reducing expectations of ourselves and accepting our human limitations.

Caretakers deserve at least as much self-care as they are giving. This often means getting the help you need. There are numerous organizations that provide guidance and resources to assist individuals and families in such troubling times. There are just a few listed below. For more information or help managing your stress as a caregiver:

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  • Learning self-care
  • Stress relief
  • Family communication skills
  • Strategies for decision making and more...
Other Helpful Resources

Caring.com
Videocargiving.org

Caregiving.com