Managing Stress

Do you find yourself feeling more irritable than normal? Has your appetite changed, or are you having trouble sleeping? These could be signs of stress. Being a care provider, whether as a direct caregiver or an administrator can be stressful. Sometimes we get so busy taking care of our residents, that we might forget to take care of ourselves. Prolonged stress can manifest in both emotional and physical symptoms, so taking steps to manage it is important for your health and well being.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend these self-care steps to manage stress:

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. They may seem to be a temporary fix to feel better, but in the long run they can create more problems and add to your stress—instead of take it away.
  • Find support. Seek help from a partner, family member, friend, counselor, doctor, or clergyperson. Having a sympathetic, listening ear and sharing about your problems and stress really can lighten the burden.
  • Connect socially. After a stressful event, it is easy isolate yourself. Make sure that you are spending time with loved ones. Consider planning fun activities with your partner, children, or friends.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out—for example, treat yourself to a therapeutic massage
  • Maintain a normal routine
  • Stay active. You can take your mind off your problems by giving—

helping a neighbor, volunteering in the community, even taking the dog on a long walk. These can be positive ways to channel your feelings.

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