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Stressed caregivers

New York Teacher

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Educators are caregivers to their students as well as to their colleagues. Some also have caregiving responsibilities at home — for a spouse, children or elderly parents. The associated stress can leave caregivers feeling frustrated, impatient, overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s a lot of pressure and it takes a toll.

Symptoms

  • Feeling exhausted; unable to complete tasks.
  • Feeling irritable at work over things that didn’t cause you stress in the past.
  • Excessive smoking or drinking.
  • Feeling isolated or abandoned.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Having difficulty prioritizing.
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • Feeling guilty about not doing enough at work or at home.
  • Does that describe you? If so, it’s time to take action.

Coping strategies

  • Let trusted colleagues know what’s going on so you’re not alone in this.
  • Ask for help — and say yes when colleagues offer to do something for you.
  • Learn to prioritize and delegate.
  • Make stress your friend: Research shows that those who embrace stress have the longest lives (see resources below).
  • Plan activities you enjoy.
  • Join a support group for caregivers.
  • The UFT Member Assistance Program will be offering a caregiver support group in January 2018. For more information, email mapinfo@uft.org or call 212-701-9620.
    Now for the second year, MAP, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Family Support Program of NYU Langone Medical Center, is offering a free workshop on Nov. 16 on coping with the stress of caregiving for someone who is suffering from progressive memory loss. Get more information and register at http://www.uft.org/files/uft-dementia-support-flier-2017.pdf .
    For additional resources on relieving caregiver stress, visit www.uft.org/your-well-being.
Related Topics: Your Well-being
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