There are times when following the news constantly is not healthy.
In the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, news of the attacks and rescue efforts dominated the television. For a while some channels carried 24/7 news without even commercial breaks.
My mother and I lived near a city officials thought might be the next target. And so their local news was dominated by those concerns.
In addition to locals who were affected by the attacks . . .and on . . .and on . . .
When you’re dealing with caregiver stress sometimes adding it to the stress of following current world events is simply too much.
And it’s okay to admit it!
As a caregiver you are shouldering a lot of responsibility. And likely dealing with the stress your care recipient feels in addition to the stresses of caregiving.
Notice how nearly 100% of the news is negative?
Lately even the weather is dominated not by the local forecasts but current natural disasters. And is there aren’t any, there’s always a retrospective of past disasters!
Is it any wonder caregivers feel overwhelmed by caregiver stress?
Caregiver stress is just one more stress on top of the chronic stresses of modern life.
So what are some things you can do to reduce caregiver stress when current world events threaten your caregiving?
- Take a news vacation. Constant negativity—no matter what the source—is not healthy!
How you cope with news negativity is as individual as you.
I know one person who only checks the news once a week. She’s fighting chronic health issues and needs to focus on caring for herself and her family.
Others limit their daily intake. Or maybe it’s easier to check the news online or in a newspaper but not on television or radio.
Or maybe a day or two a week that are news-free may be enough.
- Meditate or pray . . .or even knit. Meditation and prayer are ways to calm yourself and connect spiritually.
Studies show that activities like knitting can create the same responses in your body as prayer.
Am I advocating substituting knitting for prayer? Absolutely not!
Knitting and other crafts can be a way to decrease your stress in a healthy manner.
- Find a healthy distraction. Knitting may be your healthy distraction.
It’s often portable, and a craft you can take up and put down as needed.
Some people volunteer.
As a caregiver you may not have the time or energy to volunteer on top of what you do.
Maybe you can involve the person you care for in an activity like knitting . . .crossword puzzles . . .card games . . .or even checkers. Distracting both of you may help decrease their stress and also the stress you feel in caring for them.
Before the next world disaster strikes you might just want to consider your options in decreasing your caregiver stress.
Worried about how your body’s reacting to stress? Or maybe how your care recipient is reacting to stress?
While you can feel yourself stressed, it may be hard to see stress in your care recipient.
You may see it in subtle changes, like anger or just “being difficult.” And dealing with negativity can add to your caregiver stress.
Heart Math is a solution using today’s technology to inconspicuously use biofeedback to adjust your response to stress.
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
“The Knitting Dr.”
Ambassador of Elder Care, HowToLiveOnPurpose.com
Founder, CaregivingWithPurpose.com and TheKnittingYarn.com
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider. This site does not advocate medical or other health-related self-care, and encourages you to obtain advice from your own personal physician or other health care provider.
This web site is not intended to replace medical, financial, legal, or any other professional advice. Please use your own good judgment and consult with your own professionals before applying any ideas found within this website.