This coping tip helps when caregiving is overwhelming
Caring for an older adult means a lot of responsibility and worry. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed by caregiving.
We found a simple coping tip from Quartz called affect labeling. It helps when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious by reducing the emotional impact of those feelings and kickstarting the de-stressing process.
We share key information from the article that explains how to use affect labeling when the caregiver stress gets to be too much and why it works.
Quickly reduce feelings of overwhelm with affect labeling
The next time the stress, anxiety, or negative feelings become overwhelming, grab a pen and some paper. Write down a couple of words that describe your emotions. Don’t think too much about it, just write the words that pop into your head.
That’s all affect labeling is — naming your emotional state. It might sound too simple to be useful, but it’s been shown to reduce the impact of negative feelings and speed the calming process.
Using affect labeling to reduce feelings of overwhelm is perfect for busy caregivers. It only takes a minute to notice how you’re feeling, put a name to it, and dull the impact of those negative emotions.
Why affect labeling reduces caregiver stress and overwhelm
Putting a name to how you’re feeling and what you’re going through is a surprisingly effective way to feel better. Labeling it means that it’s a “real” thing and that other people have experienced this emotion too — you’ll feel less isolated.
Quartz also points out that affect labeling is a simplified, quicker version of the 3 step self-compassion model. If you have a little more time, try these 3 steps:
- Admit that a situation is painful or uncomfortable.
- Recognize that pain and discomfort are a normal part of being human.
- Do something healthy to feel better, like go outside for some fresh air, stretch, or call a friend.
Recommended for you:
- 15 Quick Tips for Managing Caregiver Stress
- 5 Ways to Use a Journal to Reduce Caregiver Stress
- 5 Coping Tips for the Overwhelmed Caregiver
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Health Spectrum
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