You have been under incredible strain taking care of an aging parent or other loved one. What you are dealing with is called caregiver stress. You might not think much about it at the time, but when you look back over this period of your life, you will see the impact it has in almost every other aspect of your life.
It can affect your relationships, your health, and even your ability to do your primary job or responsibility. Whether that’s a career, a full-time or part-time jobs, raising children, or something else.
Often, at night, you might not sleep well. At least not as well as you could or should. Your mind is often swimming with thoughts. You’re worried about this aging loved one. You wonder if you forgot to do something, if they are safe in bed, or if they had to get up to use the bathroom and have fallen and hit the floor, unable to call you for help.
Those and so many other thoughts can make it difficult to sleep at night. So, you wake up in the morning and grab that cup of coffee, waiting for the caffeine to kick in and help you tackle another day.
What should you know about caffeine?
It is important to understand what caffeine is and how it affects the body. Just because tens of millions of Americans grab a cup of coffee every morning doesn’t mean it is the best thing for us.
Yes, it can taste good and be just what you need for that wakeup feeling, but how is it helping the stress in your life?
Caffeine is a stimulant. It might give your brain the jolt it needs to get going in the morning, but it’s also ratcheting up all of those stressful thoughts and reactions to another level.
Your nerves become a little more jagged, a bit more raw. And the more stress you are feeling on a regular basis, the more likely you are to snap at somebody, have difficulty focusing, keeping track of your thoughts, and being diligent to ensure safety for this senior who depends on you.
Does this mean you should give up coffee?
Absolutely not. However, if you’re drinking copious amounts of coffee throughout the day, you may need to look at other options to alleviate stress. Speaking to a counselor, venting to friends, or leaning on home care to help look after the senior are all better options for continually charging down for caffeine as the day wears on.