Caregiving and Mental Health
The iSavta Team | 08.01.2020
The stress that caregiving brings weakens the immune system. As a result, the body’s pre-existing health conditions are worsened and the risk of mental health disorders are also increased. Moreover, aging becomes fast as a consequence of caregiving stress.
The person’s physical condition may be weakened as a result of poor mental health. Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social condition. The mental health of a person is important because it affects how he thinks, feel, and act.
There are many ways on how you can take care of yourself as a caregiver, especially when it comes to your mental health. Your friends and family may have some suggestions on how you can take care of yourself but the best way is to seek assitance from a mental health therapist or counselor. Therapists or counselors are experts who can suggest unbiased ways or options on how you can take care of your mental health. In addition, they are the best people who could also help you deal with the emotional stress you encounter as a caregiver.
However, not all caregivers have access to licensed therapist or counselors. Not all can afford to seek assistance from these experts. If you are one of them, you can take a look at the ways below on how you could look after your mental health without having to pay for an expert advice:
- Love your body
Value and love yourself first so that you can effectively take care of someone else. One of the ways in valuing yourself is to take care of yourself physically. Having a healthy body can improve your mental health. To have a healthy body, you must eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water, exercise, and have a good amount of sleep. These are basic things you may have learned when you were still a child and it remains true all throughout your life.
- Talk about your feelings
Sharing what you have in mind or your emotions is a good way to stay healthy. It always feels good to have someone listen to what you are going through in life. Having a friend or family listen to you makes you feel supported. There are also caregiver support groups that are available online and are located in your area. Sharing your feelings with others might even encourage them to open up themselves and it could lead to a strong bond that could last forever.
- Do something you love doing
Working as a caregiver may not allow you much time to be with your family or friends. But, you could look at it as an opportunity to do some of your interest in the past. You may be looking after a patient for a number of hours but it does not mean you are always by your patient’s side all the time. If you had to stay at home but done with your patient’s personal care and medication needs, you may want to take your spare time by doing some interests that you can do indoors like drawing, sewing, gaming, and reading to name a few. But if you are on a day off, then you can also enjoy hobbies that you can do outdoors like shopping, travelling, or eating out. As long as you have spare time, doing your hobbies or interests will boost your self-esteem and positively affect your mental health.
These are just a few suggestions you can do to take care of your mental health. Caregiving stress is the number one culprit that negatively affects your mental health. Learning how to deal with it is a must to keep your physical, emotional, psychological, and mental state balanced. If it comes to worse, then seeking help from an expert may provide you ways or views on how you can cope with caregiving stress and how to stay healthy.
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