The responsibility of caring for a loved one can be stressful and often leaves little time to prioritise self-care. Caring for yourself is one of the most important—and one of the most often forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too.

The average family caregiver is asked to juggle a household and at least a part-time job along with their caregiving duties. As the daily pressure begins to mount, many informal caregivers develop a condition known as caregiver stress. If not properly addressed, that pent-up stress can affect the quality of life of both the caregiver and care recipient. If you currently find yourself in this situation, here’s how to prioritise self-care while serving as a family caregiver

How Caregiving Affects Caregivers

While caring for an ageing loved one brings immense satisfaction, most family caregivers encounter these daily challenges:

  • Neglecting their own health
  • Financial difficulties due to out-of-pocket expenditures
  • Strained personal relationships
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Substance abuse
  • Scheduling conflicts (work, children’s activities, etc.)

In addition to physical and mental fatigue, caregivers may also grapple with negative emotions such as guilt, frustration, anxiety, hopelessness, and depression. As the cumulative stressors mount, even the most resilient family caregiver can reach a breaking point.

Caregiver Stress Warning Signs

Aside from mental health challenges such as negative feelings and social isolation, caregivers may also encounter physical indicators of stress:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • A weakened immune system
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Digestive problems
  • Frequent headaches

Once caregiver stress takes root, it has the potential to escalate into caregiver fatigue and eventually lead to full-blown burnout.

Self-Care Tips for Stressed Caregivers

As someone who is constantly juggling multiple responsibilities, here are some healthy ways to unwind and decompress:


Regular exercise offers numerous benefits, serving as an excellent stress reliever. Engaging in physical activity for at least 20 minutes several times a week not only improves sleep quality but also boosts the immune system and enhances mental well-being. Caregivers can opt for various cardio workouts such as walking, swimming, cycling, or aerobics to reap these rewards. Additionally, meditative exercises like Yoga and Tai Chi are particularly effective for rejuvenating both the body and mind.

Join a support group

Participating in a caregiver support group offers a straightforward means to connect with individuals who share similar experiences and understand the challenges you face. These groups serve as invaluable sources of caregiving advice, providing a supportive environment where you can freely express your emotions and share experiences without fear of judgement.

Seek professional help

Seeking guidance from a licensed therapist is another avenue to express your innermost thoughts without fear of criticism. A therapist provides an objective ear and valuable insights to help restore your peace of mind and sense of self-worth.

Write your experiences in a journal

Addressing negative emotions can also be achieved by documenting them in a caregiving journal. This journal serves as a platform to not only express negative feelings but also to record inspirational messages or positive experiences, such as successfully persuading a stubborn father to stop driving. Revisiting these uplifting entries on challenging days can significantly boost self-confidence and improve your mental outlook.

Make some “me” time

Amidst the responsibilities of caregiving, it’s common for “me” time and personal relationships to take a backseat. However, it’s essential to acknowledge your efforts and reward yourself accordingly. Treat yourself to activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s indulging in a spa day, planning a vacation with friends, or exploring a new hobby. Alternatively, simply take a moment to unwind with a good book on the couch. Remember, you deserve to prioritise your well-being and enjoyment.

Take a respite

When it comes time to take a well-deserved break, also known as “respite,” there are various options for caregiver relief, including:

  • Other family members
  • Friends, neighbours, or coworkers
  • Adult daycare
  • A professional respite caregiver from a licensed home care agency

Utilise technology

At Connected Health, we recognise that caregiving extends beyond physical presence, which is why we also offer a comprehensive range of virtual care solutions designed to enhance the well-being of both caregivers and their loved ones. Our virtual care services go beyond conventional boundaries, utilising advanced technology and mobile apps to deliver remote healthcare services directly to patients in the comfort of their homes. Whether it’s safety check-ins, medication reminders, or well-being assessments, our virtual companionship calls provide peace of mind and support for individuals who prefer alternative caregiving options. Moreover, our hybrid model seamlessly integrates traditional homecare with remote monitoring technology, ensuring that every client receives personalised care tailored to their unique needs. Through our innovative virtual care solutions, we aim to bridge geographical gaps, promote independence, and empower individuals to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Quality In-Home Care You Can Trust

While caring for an ageing-in-place senior can be deeply fulfilling, it also presents significant challenges and stressors. Consequently, finding time for self-care as a family caregiver may feel daunting or even impossible.

To help, when you need to take a well-deserved break, contact Connected Health. While proudly serving seniors and families, Connected Health provides professional in-home health services that allow our clients to remain safely and comfortably in their own homes.

From a few hours a day to around the clock, our client-centred services include respite care, personal care, companionship, joint replacement care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, Parkinson’s support, Palliative care, and Arthritis care. At Connected Health, we deliver quality home care you can trust! To learn more now about our dependable caregivers, or to schedule a consultation for a senior in our service area, please don’t hesitate to contact us.