9 tips for dealing with carer stress

RDNS New Zealand

Many of us will experience a time in our life when a loved one is in need of special care and we take on the responsibility of providing it as a carer. It may be a child experiencing an extended illness, a sibling with a disability or an ageing parent or spouse who is unable to care properly for themselves.

Whatever the situation, being a full or part-time carer is not an easy job.

Here are 9 tips to help manage carer stress:

  1. Stay healthy by eating well, exercising and having regular GP checkups.
  2. Sleep well by avoiding stimulants and spending 20 minutes relaxing before bedtime.
  3. Relax often by identifying activities that calm you and making arrangements to do them regularly.
  4. Be social (and selective) by maintaining social contacts and spending time on people who make you feel good.
  5. Laughter is a great medicine; if you don’t know whether to laugh or cry at a situation, choose laughter every time.
  6. Share your thoughts and feelings with a person you trust. 
  7. Ask for help from family and friends and be willing to accept their assistance.
  8. Join a support group online or in person to meet other carers and break down the feeling of isolation. Carers New Zealand is a great resource for this.
  9. Seek expert assistance from counsellors or psychologists who are trained to help you deal with stress, anxiety, depression and other issues that commonly affect carers.

Time away from your role as a carer is important – if you’re a long-term carer and feel that you and your care recipient may benefit from some in-home respite or assistance, give RDNS New Zealand a call on 0800 736 769.

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