Coping with Stress
Being a caregiver stress can be compounded and multiplied by even little things. For example, Do you have an idea of how many times I have to remind my husband to do something before he actually moves and do it? The motivation and initiative to accomplish tasks was severely affected in my husband. Sometimes I have to repeat everyday, texted and invent new ways to make him aware. This "little" thing adds stress to my life because before I did not have to be chasing him to do things, I did not even have to pay attention to any of his things at all (which were tond more than now). Now it is different. It may sound very insignificant to some but in my life this creates stress. Other example of how stress builds up is when I know he will have a bad day and I don't know what it is but I can tell. Having to take care of everything is sometimes so much that I feel I need a day of 30 hours so I can have some extra hours to take care of things. Last time I ask my husband to get some quotes he end up contracting the first one without even completing the task of getting 3 quotes. These are the "little" things that can create stress because you cannot rely anymore in the judgement and decision-making and it is so difficult to come to terms with this new event in life.
Not everything is negative but I wanted to provide some examples that may look "little" but they impacts the way you feel and especially stress levels. One thing that people tell me constantly is that I smile and look like nothing happens. Yes I smile all the time and yes I do it from my heart and it helps me and help other too :) I once read a book, when I was 12 years old that talked about how things that are not meaningful from today to the next 3 years are not worth to stressed about. For example, the fact that my husband forgets or have lack of initiative to do certain things, Will that affect my life in the next 3 years? If not then I let it go. The other thing that I do is that I take the responsibilities that are dependent of major consenquences, for example paying everything that can affect the credit and things that need special attention. My husband took over responsibilities that will not have a great impact, like the laundry, making sure the gardener comes, takes the cars for service, I provide a list and he buys groceries among other things that will not have detrimental impact if they are not done by a due date.
How do I cope with stress? I will tell you what for ME works and please feel free to share what for you works, this is how we all share to help others. First thing in the morning I wake up and I pray, that helps me find a way of meditating in my blessings and that gives me strenght. By now you may know I am a christian and that I am very spiritual and I find a lot of strenght in God and his scrptures, especially the book of Proverbs. Other than that I go for massages, that helps release toxins and helps with relaxation. I walk and contemplate nature, my husband and I love trails (but I do not like the rattlesnakes in this area). I do all these things and I make a to-do list every week and prioritized by grading them and with due dates. This have been helpful and I can manage time efficiently and fulfilling all my commitments effectively. It is not easy but you can do it, believe me. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, yes, but try to take some time and take care of yourself because you need to recharge to continue to help your loved one. Don't let things consumed you, read inspirational books and do things that will empower you. I avoid things that will not be helpful for me, I do not waste my time in readings and TV programs that will not help me with my daily life. I find gratifying to absorb everything that will help me grow as a human being and that will provide the tools to deal with challenges.
Anyway I just wanted to share this so for those who ask me "How do you do it? How aren't you depress?" You have an idea of things that I do. Of course there is always another way but this is my personal "secret". The main objective is to take care of yourself to then be able to take care of your loved one.