The Caregiver's Coping Toolkit

Caregiver strain is particularly problematic for caregivers. Caregiver strain is defined as the amount of stress or perceived stress associated with providing care.

Here are some coping tips you can follow to avoid caregiver strain:

  • Take a break
  • Be aware of your limits
  • Keep a journal
  • Lean on family and friends
  • Get help
  • Turn to faith
  • Join a caregiver’s support group
  • Take care of yourself

Taking time for yourself can help you be a better caregiver. That's even truer if you have health problems.

You may want to:

  • Find nice things you can do for yourself. Even just a few minutes can help. You could watch TV, call a friend, work on a hobby, or do anything that you enjoy.
  • Be active. Even light exercise such as walking, stretching, or dancing can make you less tired. Yard work, playing with kids or pets, or working in the garden are helpful, too.
  • Find ways to connect with friends. Are there places you can meet others who are close to you? Or can you chat or get support by phone or email?
  • Give yourself more time off. Ask friends or family members to pitch in. Take time to rest.
  • Do something for yourself each day. It doesn’t matter how small it is. Whatever you do, don’t neglect yourself.