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Family Caregiver Stress Management: Do You Have a “type” When it Comes to Your Friends?

Family Caregivers in Wake Forest, NC

Family-caregivers-in-wake-forest-ncFamily caregiver stress is something that a large portion  of people who care for their aging parents experience. For some people it is relatively mild, while others cope with stress that dramatically impacts their physical, mental, and emotional health. Managing this stress is a vital element of protecting your health and ensuring that you continue to be the highest quality caregiver possible for your seniors. One of the ways that you can do this is by carefully choosing and relying on your friends.

While most people think of having a “type” when it comes to dating, most people also have a type when it comes to the friends that they have. Even if you have a large assortment of friends, if you evaluate them you will likely find that they all fit into certain categories that make them appealing to you. Your type may be someone who has the same religion as you, came from the same area of the country as you did, enjoys the same main hobbies, has children the same age, is married to your partner’s friends, or has specific personality traits. It is normal, and expected, for you to have some consistency in your friendships. After all, experts believe that people are naturally drawn to certain types of people and develop other attractions throughout their lives based on their life experiences. This applies both to romantic attachments and to friendships. Sometimes, however, venturing outside of your “type” and forming new friendships can be a powerful means of easing your family caregiver stress.

Some of the benefits of stepping away from your type when it comes to your friends include:

  • Negative type development. Evaluate why you have a certain type of friends. Your friends should fulfill you in some way and satisfy something in your life. If this fulfillment is in a negative way, such as they complain with you, encourage unhealthy habits, or remind you of a person who hurt you when you were younger, those friendships are not going to do good things for you. Stepping away from this type of friendship can help you to remove these negative influences in your life.
  • Mental stimulation. If all of your friends are very much alike, getting out of that comfort zone and interacting with new people can offer you mental stimulation that sharpens your mind and encourages you to try new experiences. This is a powerful way to enhance your quality of life and nurture stress and anxiety relief.
  • Learn about yourself. Often it takes interacting with people who are not like you to actually learn about yourself. You might find new facets of your personality, discover new beliefs, or learn about new activities and interests that you love. You can in turn teach that other person more about herself through sharing your own experiences, personality traits, interests, and past.
  • Be current. You have changed over time, but if your friendships have not, you may find that they are no longer as fulfilling as they used to be. This does not mean that you have to disconnect with everyone from your past, but finding people who are more in tune with your current life can help you to feel more connected and ease your stress through a simpler and more supportive relationship. This is particularly applicable to new friends who are also on a family care journey with their parents.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Raleigh, NC, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (919) 229-8944