Taking care of your elderly parents can be very demanding and can give you a great deal of stress. You have to be on your toes all the time to attend to the every need of your aging parent. In the long run, this can take a tool on your own health, emotions, and well-being.
In fact, there’s such a thing as caregiving stress, which is borne out of anxiety, sleep deprivation, working too much, exhaustion, dealing with your own personal and family life, balancing work along with everything is happening, the list goes on…At the end of the day, you have taken care of everyone but yourself. And this is unhealthy.
Here are 10 signs of caregiver stress to watch out for.
1. Depression. You feel sad and lonely all the time. You may also cry increasingly, or suddenly burst in tears.
2. Withdrawal. You don’t like to socialize and you don’t do the things you used to enjoy before.
3. Anxiety. You always have this feeling that you have to get things done or something bad happens. You’re constantly followed by this feeling of dread and you feel you have to move to avoid it.
4. Anger. You’re always angry at everyone, snapping and being aggressive. This stems from the feeling of sacrificing your own happiness and well-being for caring for your elderly parents.
5. Loss of focus. You’re so bent on the things you have to do to care for your elderly that you can’t focus about anything else.
6. Changed eating habits. You may also eat too much or eat too little as a way to cope with all that is happening.
7. Insomnia. You are exhausted, but have trouble sleeping. Often, you just lie on your bed wide awake, thinking of everything that still needs to be done.
8. Exhaustion. Even if you indeed have a good night’s sleep, you still feel heavy. You always feel down and have no energy.
9. Resorting to unhealthy outlets. You nay resort to unhealthy activities such as drinking or smoking, or even substance abuse.
10. Health problems. You catch more sicknesses than usual. You always have colds or flu because you’re not taking care of yourself and your health is failing.