need some pointers? we're here to help.
A catastrophic injury can alter the lives of the entire family, and caring for a survivor can be a long-term, possibly lifetime, commitment. For that reason, learning to manage the stress and frustration of being a caregiver is vital to provide effective care to the injury survivor.
Although in some cases it may seem difficult or impossible, especially immediately post-injury, the following tips can be helpful:
- • Take advantage of all available support resources.
- • Reward yourself periodically with short breaks.
- • Exercise to help relieve stress, improve sleep, reduce depression and increase your energy level.
- • Get plenty of sleep whenever possible.
- • Don't be afraid to ask for help.
- • Remember to take advantage of the resources available to you, such as family and friends offering help, local support groups, and web-based support networks.
- • Take time to be alone and clear your head.
- • Make a to-do list of tasks and put them in order of importance. This can reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and aid in helping others to help you.
- • Talk about your feelings to family and friends, or begin a journal.
- • Do not isolate yourself.
- • Realize that feelings of sadness and frustration are normal.
- • Educate yourself about the injury.
- • If it’s right for you, use prayer, meditation, and other types of spiritual support.
- • Try relaxation activities such as yoga, reading, listening to music, or just spending time with friends.
- • If necessary, ask your doctor about whether or not medications to treat anxiety or depression might be right for you.