You’ve been tossing and turning in bed for hours because you can’t sleep. Earlier in the day you were over at your elderly mother’s house and noticed that her health, no matter how hard you try, just keeps getting worse. Tomorrow the kids have ballgames, you’ve got to go to the office for a few hours and mom has a doctor’s appointment that you promised to take her to. Suddenly you feel your heart beating faster and your hands getting clammy. Unfortunately, caregiver anxiety is a common problem for family caregivers. Use these tips to keep it under control.
How Caregiver Anxiety Affects You
In general, anxiety is caused by different triggers. Caregiver anxiety oftentimes results from feeling stressed out because you’re constantly worrying about your loved one, and maybe even second-guessing the care that you are providing them with. Let unaddressed, caregiver anxiety can lead to these physical and emotional problems:
- Heart palpitations
- Mental anguish
Allowing that chronic worrying to continue will eventually place your health and wellbeing at risk.
Kicking Caregiver Anxiety to the Curb
Fortunately, chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken using the right approach. Here are some ways to reduce stress and worry so that you can ultimately kick caregiver anxiety to the curb for good:
Recognize the Physical Signs
Pay attention to your body so that you notice when you are feeling nervous and stressed out. Signs to be aware of include shortness of breath, a queasy sensation in your stomach, or whenever your heart is pounding too fast or too strong. All of these are your body’s natural way of responding to anxiety and stress. Now that you are aware of the symptoms, it’s time to find ways to manage them.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation exercises like deep breathing can help quickly alleviate the mental and physical aspects of caregiver anxiety. Muscle relaxation techniques also work well, as does Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation or prayer.
Avoid Bad Habits
Scientists have determined that poor lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages to excess, smoking tobacco products, eating a poor diet high in sugar, or taking too many over-the-counter cold remedies can all trigger anxiety. Replace those unhealthy habits with positive ones.
You’re Not Nostradamus
One of the main reasons why chronic worriers are that way is because they want to know wi