When caregiving doesn’t spark your joy, what can you do about it? That’s a question I’ve been mulling over lately. Ever since I posted a survey about stress and compassion fatigue in caregivers. Within 2 days, the survey had been completed 500 times. Less than 3 weeks later, that number has risen to 1,313, and the results of the survey were disturbing.
- 98% of survey participants said their caregiving duties add stress to their lives.
- 80% said their caregiving duties cause sleep deprivation on a regular basis.
- 91% said stress has negatively impacted their mental health.
- 92% said stress has negatively impacted their physical health.
- Overwhelming demands and isolation are the 2 greatest causes of the additional stress.
To borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, caregiving is sparking as much stress as joy in parents raising kids with special needs. Which is why I’ve been pondering the question posed at the beginning of this post: when caregiving doesn’t spark your joy, what can you do about it?
My pondering led to 4 strategies designed to reduce stress and respark joy in parents caring for kids with special needs and disabilities. Strategies I wish I’d had the wisdom to implement when our little boy was very, very ill and my stress level was through the roof. When caregiving doesn’t spark your joy, I hope these strategies help rekindle it.
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