Manage Caregiver Stress

Developing an Attitude of Creative Indifference
Step 3: ACTION

making a choice to manage caregiver stress For the past few days I’ve been writing about how developing an Attitude of Creative Indifference and help manage caregiver stress.

As a quick review, the first two steps are becoming AWARE of the situations, people and events that are upsetting you and ACCEPTING that you are on a difficult journey and that there are a lot of complicating factors involved. Here are links to these two posts on my website in case you missed them:

Grief and Parkinson’s Disease
Accepting the Unacceptable

The third step of “Developing an Attitude of Creative Indifference” is ACTION. After you have become AWARE of the people, situations and events that are causing you the greatest amount of emotional stress, and have ACCEPTED the reality of your situation, the next step is to take ACTION.

Start by identifying the situations over which you do have some influence, power or control. If there is something that can be done, make a plan. Whether you can no longer do the yard work, or you need to move across the country to be closer to family, the basic steps are the same. Figure out what needs to happen. Set a timeline. Figure out who can help. Get started.

If you have NO power, influence or control over a situation, the second step is a little more complicated. You basically have two choices: You can dwell on the problem (and let it drive you crazy), or you can release your emotional attachment to it.

It might help to accept the fact that there are some things you will NEVER be able to control, such as the progression of a disease or another person’s behavior. If you’re dealing with problems for which there are no solutions, you might try repeating my mother’s mantra. (It’s helped get me through some incredibly difficulty times in my life.) She always said, “As long as I have the ability to reason and think, I will have the power to choose my attitude toward any person, thing, or event.”

As a caregiver you will be confronted with countless situations over which you have no control. It isnt easy to manage caregiver stress, but making the decision let go of feeling responsible for doing something when nothing can be done to change the situation, can relieve a lot of pressure and help you perserve the physical and emotional energy you will need to get through whatever lies ahead.