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Your life revolves around caregiving, but it gives you little satisfaction. You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available. You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you’re caring for. You feel overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless.

CAREGIVER STRESSMANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. As an example, you may know that you’re constantly worried what medical bills will be paid by insurance, but maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual bills, that leads to the stress. There are a number of ways to help you identify and then reduce the stress you are experiencing. Following are seven stress management strategies. Consider which ones might be helpful and doable for you.

To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep

STRESS MANAGEMENT STRATEGY #1: CREATE A STRESS JOURNAL A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. Write down your thoughts and feelings. This helps provide perspective on your situation and serves as an important release for your emotions. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down: What caused your stress? (Make a guess if you’re unsure.) How you felt, both physically and emotionally. How you acted in response. What you did to make yourself feel better.

putting oil in it. -Mother Teresa

Identifying patterns and sources of stress can then help you identify and strategies that you can implement to address your individual need.

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