Care-giving can stress you out. Here’s how to combat it

Published on: 11 March 2022, 23:12 pm IST

Your extra caring attitude may backfire at your own health. Here’s how you can avoid it from causing you further stress!

cause of stress
The caregiver in you should step back sometimes! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It is always essential to reflect on how far we’ve come as a society in terms of supporting for our female counterparts. Women have always been viewed as ‘caregivers,’ the people you go to in the event of even a minor inconvenience. This might add to the stress that women constantly face while at a job, college, or even home. This kind of dependency on a woman often becomes a cause of stress. However, we should not forget that a strong commitment to a woman’s mental and physical well-being is a critical criterion for a healthy and developing society.

Lifestyle and occupation add to the cause of stress

For a woman – whether a homemaker or a professional woman – who suffers from neurological issues such as migraine, venus strokes during pregnancy, catamenial headaches, or even menstrual cramps, lifestyle, food, family, and good moral support is critical. Headaches, back discomfort, migraines, fibromyalgia – are all typical work obstacles that start with incorrect or interrupted sleep patterns.

According to a Lancet study, India has shown a high disease burden for specific diseases including stroke, epilepsy, headache, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia, mostly reported for the urban Indian population in the last three decades. Studies also show that women are at equal risk for Parkinson’s as men, as opposed to the general belief. Paralysis and stroke are also common in cases of high blood pressure, diabetes, or serious crisis such as car accidents.

Women with epilepsy

We need to be cautious when administering medications for disorders like epilepsy to younger women or teenage girls because some tablets can impact the ovaries and a female’s general reproductive health.

Globally, around 50 million people have epilepsy, among whom 10-12 million live in India, especially among the rural population. Women with Epilepsy, or WWE, as referred commonly, have specific concerns for various periods of life, such as young age, active reproductive phase, pregnancy, lactation, and so on.

Post-menopausal stage

Due to hormonal changes in the body following menopause, the risk of heart attacks increases, and they are more likely to have diseases such as osteoporosis and dementia.

Menopause and heart disease
Menopause symptoms shouldn’t stop yourself from self-care. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How does one combat Caregiver’s Syndrome?

1. Self care

Due to current societal compulsions and other patriarchal restrictions, women frequently tend to be caregivers, and the majority of their time and efforts are focused on providing care and assistance to the family and family members. As a result, they take poor care of their own health, resulting in a variety of neurological issues as a result of excessive stress. So, one must try to get sufficient rest and calm your mind.

2. Healthy diet

A healthy diet rich in fruits and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate nuts and beans, olive oil, eggs, almonds, nuts, and avocados must be eaten. Small amounts of fish such as salmon, mutton, and chicken, will be ideal for supplementing nutrition. It will help provide adequate amounts of Vitamin B, K, folic acid, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, choline, and other nutrients. These help to improve memory, learning, and cognition too.

3. Workout

Proper and consistent nutrition, as well as an active lifestyle that includes physical activities and workouts, are essential. Fighting the caregiver stress is also a psychological issue that needs to be handled, and because women tend to ignore their health in the long run, different neurological difficulties develop as time goes on.

exercises to avoid at the gym
Not all exercises are difficult, but they can help ease out your stress. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In order to empower women with strong neurological health, we need to see a sea change in our attitude to assisting, orienting, and encouraging women in our families and close circles to come out boldly and open up about their physical and mental challenges and hurdles.

Dr U Meenakshisundaram Dr U Meenakshisundaram

Director and Senior Consultant – Neurology, SIMS Hospital , Chennai

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