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Life as a carer is stressful – and if the last two years have left you feeling more stressed than ever, you are not alone.

Our research on the effects of COVID-19 on carers showed that more than half (54%) of respondents were more stressed than before the pandemic. While some stress is normal and part and parcel of everyday life, too much can lead to a negative impact on your health and mood.

Dealing with Stress

The first step in dealing with stress is to recognise that it is happening. You may have so little time to yourself that you don’t realise at first. When you do start noticing the symptoms of stress (see below), do not struggle on, hoping it will go away. The sooner you deal with the problem, the better, and just talking about how you feel can help you find a way to deal with it.

The symptoms of stress can be both mental and physical, and can vary from person to person:

  • Mental symptoms can include anxiety, anger, depression, lack of appetite, sleeplessness, crying often, tiredness and difficulty concentrating.
  • Physical symptoms can include cramps, muscle spasms, chest pains, dizziness, restlessness, nervous twitches and breathlessness.

Tips for coping with stress

To manage stress, you may want to try different techniques. These can include relaxation, mindfulness, gentle exercise and watching your intake of things like sugar and caffeine. It’s important to make time in your day to actively relax even if you are busy and overwhelmed. In fact, it’s at these times that relaxing is even more important, to help you function as well as you can.

Reaching out to others who understand can really help. Our Me Time sessions include sessions on managing stress. We also run mindfulness sessions to help you learn techniques for connecting with yourself in a calmer way.

This video, featuring Caroline Davies who delivers many of our Me Time stress management sessions, explores some quick tips on managing stress:


Feedback from these sessions shows that they have a positive impact on stress levels and wellbeing:

“This session was excellent and was delivered professionally. It was very informative and gives a more in-depth awareness of how stress affects us as carers” - Stress session with Caroline Davies

 

“I think Caroline delivered this session in an excellent, professional way and was a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Very informative” - Stress session with Caroline Davies

 

“This session covered elements I had never heard being explained in this way before and I have attended many, many sessions on stress/anxiety – Stress session with Chantal Burns


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