Stress busters are extremely valuable for caregivers. We are constantly under stress; however so are all the people we know. The difference is we are under negative stress (bad stress) for the majority of the day; while others are under both good and bad stress for majority of the time. Our bodies are meant to have both good and bad stress; however the old adage regarding ‘balance’ is the key. Too much of either stress is not healthy, and as caregivers we see only too much of each. This has been studied and examined through many years to determine not only what is happening but also how to balance our stress levels.
Most of us can understand the signs and know when we are experiencing too much of the bad stress. However as caregivers what can we do; first, we can’t just hang up our caregiver hat and take a vacation, even thought that is what we want to do. Second, we can’t just take an hour when feeling overwhelmed in most cases; there is something we can do for ourselves, says doctors and scientist. We can journal. Take time, even schedule it (set aside a particular time) and write down what is happening and how we feel. This is not a book for others only ourselves and so we need not worry about spelling, grammar, the feelings of others, angry thoughts or happy thoughts, just write it down.
Setting aside a particular time to write or journal is extremely difficult for caregivers, however not impossible. Determine a time and make every effort to honor that time, however if it is not to be that day, as we pull up the covers for the night, journal one sentence (I couldn’t write today because ____________) and fill in the blank. Just that one sentence will say volumes to us (and only us) later.
For more information and tips: www.seattletimes.com/writingforyourhealth October 27 2013