Being a caregiver is a very noble profession but by no means an easy task. People regularly tend to overlook the fact that just because a person’s job is to take care of someone else, they need care as well. The nature of the job of caregivers can induce high stress, as well as a wide range of emotions, and in order to process them constructively, there are steps that must be taken.
The nature of stress
It is not easy to be responsible for the well-being of others every day. Caregivers don’t only have to provide help with everyday tasks, but also do it enthusiastically, with compassion, as well as building relationships with the people they are taking care of. Naturally, it just isn’t possible to be happy, enthusiastic and cheerful every day of the year, and if caregivers don’t talk to the other people about the emotions and struggles that they are going through not only will it impact their job performance, but it can also heavily impact their mental health.
Ways to cope
Every person is different, so it goes without saying that there isn’t a rule book when it comes to dealing with stress. But, there are some basic helpful things that can be done in order for caregivers to feel better, so, let’s talk about that. Experts from Arcare suggest that the most crucial thing for both clients’ and caregivers’ well-being is the quality of the relationships and interactions between clients, team members, and families.
The sense of security is a very important aspect when it comes to mental health in general. Although this variable doesn’t always depend on the caregiver, it is something that should be considered and acted upon when it comes to the nursing home policies. If the caregiver is relieved from intimidation and censure, they will be able to relax more, and hence be more creative and engaged when it comes to their jobs. Even though the job is challenging, a supportive group that induces the feeling of being good enough, while also being mentored to be better is the key to a healthy environment.
Continuity builds upon security since when things are predictable, the caregiver is able to let go of the fear of the unknown, since they know that in the end, it will be alright, as long as they do their best. This can be achieved by working with the same clients and team members, as well as having a daily agenda that is flexible but adds on to the sense of structure.
It’s very important to make your employees feel like they are a valued member of the team. Being encouraged and supported is the best way to ensure that the person is going to enthusiastically approach their job, forming emotional connections as well as friendships with clients on the way. These emotional connections can help caregivers just as much they can help clients.
Having a strong sense of purpose helps a lot in the moments when we feel anxious and stressed out since it tends to reassure us and to hold us onto our senses. So, if you are a caregiver, be sure to remind yourself of the purpose of your job: bring your skills, passion, and humanness to work, and be there for the people who need you the most. And if you are in charge of a nursing home, encourage your employees, remind them of their values and how they apply to them, their roles, as well as the relationships made along the way.
A sense of fulfillment is greatly important and oftentimes comes naturally with this job. You, as a caregiver, make such a valuable contribution to the well-being of other people. You make their everyday life not only easier but also more fun, meaningful, and engaging. This is something that not many people can be proud of. Every day you put your skills and talents to work to the best of your capabilities and be sure, that is something that others recognize and praise as well.
As we have previously mentioned, this is not an easy job, but it is very important to mention that it is absolutely normal to feel stress from time to time. There is no way to 100% avoid this, but the way that you deal with that stress is something that you can act upon. So, that being said, talk to other people, reflect on the points that we have made, and we hope that you will feel better. Stay strong and keep up the amazing work that you are doing!