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What should caregivers do when they feel overwhelmed?

What should caregivers do when they feel overwhelmed?

Robin Dorman, PsyD

Clinical Health Psychologist, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by Robin Dorman
Transcript
When a caregiver is feeling depression, anxiety, guilt, stress, all of these things, there's a lot of different levels of support they might seek out. You know, the most basic of which is taking little breaks. And when I say little breaks, I mean... Show More

When a caregiver is feeling depression, anxiety, guilt, stress, all of these things, there's a lot of different levels of support they might seek out. You know, the most basic of which is taking little breaks. And when I say little breaks, I mean little breaks. Take five minutes, you know, go outside, get a breath of fresh air. Go, you know, read one chapter of a book that you've, that you've been interested in. Simply go into another room for a few minutes to deal with whatever you're dealing with—whether that's just to take a deep breath, or maybe it's to cry, or maybe it's to tend to somebody else, tend to a child, tend to another family member. So, taking little breaks is really important. There can be this sense that, "I can't let this person out of my sight."—"I can't turn my back for more one moment, or they might be suffering in some way." And the reality is, most of the time, they can take the five minutes, that they can manage those 5-10 minutes for you to get a bit of break. It's so important to keep engaged in other relationships—that would be existing friendships, other family relationships that you have—it can be very easy to let those go, and, in fact, they're one of the first things that can often go, because you feel that there's no other time, you know. You already didn't have time in your life, and now, you know, there's no other time but caregiving. And so, friendships can go. Most caregivers that are fortunate enough to have good relationships have the experience of people asking, "What can I do? I want to help, what can I do to help?" And, very often, the caregiver says, "Oh no, no nothing, we're fine, we're fine, we're fine." Really, that's not even true. You're not fine, you really could use some help. So, what kind of help could you use? So, maybe taking a couple of minutes to really think through explicit tasks that other people could do. Whether that's food-related, or grocery shopping, or coming over for half an hour, so that you can get that break, if a person needs around-the-clock care. So taking the steps to remain engaged in those relationships, both for the tangible help, as well as the emotional support.

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What should caregivers do when they feel overwhelmed?

Robin Dorman, PsyD

Clinical Health Psychologist, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago

More Videos by Robin Dorman
Transcriptadd

When a caregiver is feeling depression, anxiety, guilt, stress, all of these things, there's a lot of different levels of support they might seek out. You know, the most basic of which is taking little breaks. And when I say little breaks, I mean little breaks. Take five minutes, you know, go outside, get a breath of fresh air. Go, you know, read one chapter of a book that you've, that you've been interested in. Simply go into another room for a few minutes to deal with whatever you're dealing with—whether that's just to take a deep breath, or maybe it's to cry, or maybe it's to tend to somebody else, tend to a child, tend to another family member. So, taking little breaks is really important. There can be this sense that, "I can't let this person out of my sight."—"I can't turn my back for more one moment, or they might be suffering in some way." And the reality is, most of the time, they can take the five minutes, that they can manage those 5-10 minutes for you to get a bit of break. It's so important to keep engaged in other relationships—that would be existing friendships, other family relationships that you have—it can be very easy to let those go, and, in fact, they're one of the first things that can often go, because you feel that there's no other time, you know. You already didn't have time in your life, and now, you know, there's no other time but caregiving. And so, friendships can go. Most caregivers that are fortunate enough to have good relationships have the experience of people asking, "What can I do? I want to help, what can I do to help?" And, very often, the caregiver says, "Oh no, no nothing, we're fine, we're fine, we're fine." Really, that's not even true. You're not fine, you really could use some help. So, what kind of help could you use? So, maybe taking a couple of minutes to really think through explicit tasks that other people could do. Whether that's food-related, or grocery shopping, or coming over for half an hour, so that you can get that break, if a person needs around-the-clock care. So taking the steps to remain engaged in those relationships, both for the tangible help, as well as the emotional support.

What should caregivers do when they feel overwhelmed?
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