Caregiving and the Small Stuff!

We all stress, and when you are a caregiver, it can be easy to lose your cool over some of the small stressors, but this can create even more stress.  In fact, caregiving is one of the most stressful jobs someone can have in their life.  When you open your home to aging parents, a sick sibling, or when you are a parent who must dedicate so much time to caregiving and not parenting, you can easily become overwhelmed.  However, this added stress can tax your relationships, and it can begin to affect your ability to function in a healthy manner.

The reason this tends to be an enhanced issue in caregiving is because caregiving brings a higher level of chaos into life.  Caregiving is full of unpredictable moments and often this loss of control means the caregiver seeks control in other aspects of their life.  If the person they care for spills their drink, or loses control of their bowels, this takes away the order that the caregiver has created and can lead to angry responses, arguments, stress, sadness, and so many other emotions.

It comes down to the caregiver needing to recognize that while it is great to be organized and to create order where chaos is, they cannot remove the unpredictability of life.  Surprises, many of them not good, will happen, and they will be frustrating.  However, the caregiver has the power to choose how they will react.  If the situation is stressful, before blowing up or reacting, take a moment to breathe and process.  Walk outside, make a note of it a journal, and then face it.  By removing this additional stress quickly, you can fix it, and redirect your thoughts to something more pressing.  It comes down to choosing what is important to stress about, and what will be a waste of your time and energy.  This will save you and your loved ones in the long run by creating a more peaceful environment.

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