6 tips to deal with the illness of a relative

Caring for a family member with a chronic illness it supposes an emotional wear in caregivers tremendously important. With all that we have above, if we add to the equation having to take care of a sick relative, the burden of stress and anxiety is raised by having a dependent person by our side.

However, everything depends on our interpretation. That is, the emotions of anxiety and stress do not depend on the objective resources we have, but on the perception we have of them. To give you an idea, if you have to take care of a relative for a while, but you find yourself unable to do so, unpleasant emotions will appear. But, even if you have the same resources, if you look trained, the emotions of anxiety and stress will be much softer and far from blocking you, they will help you to give your best.


6 tips to deal with the illness of a relative

1. Encourages social support: The human being is a social animal, so it is of vital importance that you dedicate time to the week to this activity. Social support works like stress absorber, so it's a good idea to meet with friends or loved ones at least two or three times a week. Do not isolate yourself.

2. Do physical exercise: Sport has proven to be a phenomenal remedy for sadness. that is why we have to make the effort to dedicate at least three times a week for it. No need to make great efforts, with a walk at a good pace we can be worth.


3. Find a support group: There are many associations of caregivers. It is a good idea to investigate if there is any near you. Talking to people in your same situation can make you feel better.

4. Empathize with the patient: I know it is very difficult and that most of the time we lose patience soon. But if we make an effort to put ourselves on their skin, surely we will understand their demands better.

5. Form yourself to be a better caregiver: As we have seen in the introduction, training in care skills helps us to improve not only our skill but also to be patient. As I told you above, if you perceive yourself with more resources, stress levels will be lower.

6. Tell someone how you feel or write it: When we put words to our emotional states, our brain processes and gives meaning to these experiences so the intensity, frequency and duration of emotions are less. So do not keep everything for yourself. Share it


Face the illness of a relative It can shake your emotional well-being. However, with work, you can also find balance. You can also get it.

Note that...

According to a study with cancer patients, there is a relationship between the level of overload of the caregiver and the degree of dependency of the patient (Rodríguez & Rihuete 2011). That is, the more our family needs us, the more overloaded we will feel.

Interestingly, within the European Union, Spain is the country that most relies on the family as a provider of care, but is in the last places in terms of social and health expenditure in support of the family.

In another study with relatives of the chronically ill, the benefits of a program that trained in care skills were evaluated. The results showed that this training increased not only the knowledge of the specific skills, but also increased the patience of the caregivers (Barrera-Ortiz, Pinto-Afanador & Sánchez-Herrera 2006).

Jesus Matos. Psychologist expert in management of sadness. Founder of the online platform In Mental Balance.

Video: 6 ways to support loved ones and friends with cancer | Ilonka Meier | TEDxJIS


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