Family caregivers serve a vital role every day by keeping aging in place loved ones safe and comfortable. Although being an informal caregiver is a labor of love, managing those duties along with a household and job can be very physically and emotionally demanding. Finding a healthy life balance while serving as a caregiver starts with being able to recognize the signs of caregiver stress. As a caregiver, here’s how to know when’s time for you to take a well-deserved break, along with some healthy ways to stay refreshed. 

Signs of Caregiver Stress

Regardless of age, sex or ethnicity, most caregivers eventually reach a point when they feel stressed out. Many caregivers deal with exhaustion, worry, inadequate resources, and strained relationships.

The average caregiver is more likely to have a chronic illness, like high blood pressure or diabetes, than is a non-caregiver. Caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s is even more challenging and stressful.

Here are the warning signs of caregiver stress:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Difficulty performing simple tasks
  • Weight gain
  • Postponing or not showing up for medical appointments
  • Substance abuse
  • Not exercising
  • Poor eating habits
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Social isolation

If these symptoms are-allowed-to persist, they w