Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!
I’ve been doing a lot of traveling in the past few weeks so I couldn’t help but notice the announcements made every few minutes about the color of the security level at the airport. As travelers we never worried about the color of the security level until after the attacks of September 11th, but now they are a regular part of all our travel plans.
Where am I going with this? As a caregiver your body has various levels of alert. When the person you’re caring for is doing well you can bring the level of intensity down a notch, but when there’s a flare or a relapse the security level, just like at the airport becomes more intense. It means that you’re more aware, paying closer attention to the happenings of the person you’re caring for on a daily basis.
Does this become a problem? If you think about the problems that come with yo-yo dieting, when the body becomes accustomed to losing then gaining then losing and then once again gaining back the weight, the body believes this is the regular cycle. After a while the body loses less and less with each pass and gains more and more. When it comes to your own stress levels, if you don’t have a routine way or a practice to dissipate the stress the body tends to stay at a heightened level of awareness. This heightened level of awareness is dangerous to your health.
When you are constant high alert the levels of the stress hormone cortisol increase in your body and from there it’s downhill. Cortisol makes the blood vessels constrict because of the tension and the fear experienced in the body. These stress hormones have an impact on your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
It’s time to find a way to keep the stress level from simulating a roller coaster ride. Finding avenues to deal with your own caregiver stress will not only aid your health and well-being, but that of the person you’re caring for…it’s a win-win situation. Keeping all you do as a win-win is the way to go.