Whether as a parent, partner, child, or friend, we all experience times in life when we act as caregivers for other people. The role of caregiver can be exhausting and stressful, with many needs and tasks to handle each day.
Being the primary caregiver for a loved one is a situation rife with chronic stressors. With children, it may be the stress of keeping them fed, clothed, educated, entertained, and socialized. For older parents, it may be regular healthcare appointments, managing medications and therapies, and preventing loneliness.
If we’re not careful, caring for other people can lead to depression, stress, and lower feelings of well-being. (1)
Neglecting personal wellness can feel unavoidable. When the focus is on taking care of someone else, stepping away to care for ourselves can produce feelings of guilt or even additional stress.
As much as self-care is critical to being a good caregiver, it can also be challenging to fit in.