Resiliency by Jerry Husted, CIFT, CPT, CES, FNS
(Part One of a Three Part Series)
Caring for another person can be one of the most rewarding and challenging of jobs. You must find a balance in all the demands of life: family, work, favorite leisure time activities, and of course caring for another. Questions that demonstrate the levels of stress that are associated with care giving and need to be answered can be:
Will there be enough hours in the day to do all of the things that must be done?
If something has to give, what should it be?
Are you being fair to your family?
How will you know what to do?
Among caregivers, significant risk factors for care recipient abuse are:
• lack of resilience or the inability to cope with stress
• depression, which is very common among care givers
• substance abuse
In its simplest definition, resilience refers to an individual’s ability and potential to develop significant psychological and emotional skills, as well as the ability to use familial, social, and external support, to better deal with stressful life events or experiences. Often caregivers do for others while neglecting themselves. When this happens, the stress can build leading to actions that would not normally occur. The caregiver may yell or even hit. Is this abuse? Certainly. So what are some other ways of dealing with frustration and stress?
EXERCISE!! Being physically fit and exercising regularly contribute greatly to an individual’s level of resilience. Exercise is an excellent strategy for reducing stress. Exercise balances hormones and tires the body, helping facilitate a more restful sleep. The strength gained from physical conditioning at the least can provide the care giver with higher levels of energy to continue caring when they are approaching the thresholds of exhaustion.
Next month I will address the risk factor of depression.
Jerry Husted is a Personal Trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine with specializations in Fitness Nutrition and Corrective Exercise. He is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Inclusive Fitness Trainer and focuses on helping people with disabilities improve the quality of their lives. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the community. His involvement in the community focuses on the rights, issues, and concerns of people with disabilities and their families. He can be reached at 505.459.9013, firstname.lastname@example.org.