Coping With Stress

  • Stress and isolation lead many working caregivers into depression, anxiety, addiction, and many other health problems.
  • Maintaining boundaries between your personal, professional, and caregiving roles isn’t easy, but it’s essential to your well-being.
  • Setting aside time for your own health care, relaxation, exercise, and healthy meals is just as important as scheduling your work and caregiving duties.

Immediate financial concerns and caregiving demands often keep working caregivers from setting aside time for themselves. The resulting health problems often lead to a crisis in which the caregiver can no longer work or provide care.

Keep your preventive care appointments and let your doctor know about your stress levels. Ask your spouse or a good friend to stay with your loved one for an hour or two so you can get to your doctor appointment, take a walk, or just get a break from the house.

Ask the Expert

Family Caregiver Alliance can answer your toughest questions about coping with the demands of work and caregiving. Ask a question

Isolation is a major contributor to caregivers’ most common health problems. Regular contact with friends is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved one. See if a friend will talk with you on the phone weekly if you can’t get for a social activity with him or her.

Whether or not you already have strong friendships, caregiving support groups are a great antidote to feelings of isolation. Beyond the simple benefit of spending time with others who understand your frustrations, a support group can alert you to local services and programs you might not know about. Many online support groups are also available.

Commit to doing at least one thing you enjoy or need every day. Start small by taking just 5 minutes, and work up to longer periods. You might spend it meditating, reading a spiritual passage, sewing, listening to music, or walking -- whatever restores your spirit. Regular exercise is another beneficial use of your time. Even mild forms of exercise such as walking can greatly reduce your stress and your risk of major health problems.

Content shown was developed in collaboration between AGIS and Family Caregiver Alliance.

Work/Caregiving Balance

Caregiving not your only job? Get help managing your schedule, negotiating with your boss, and saving some time for yourself.


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