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Tips to better manage your mental load

On February 20, 2018 by Caregiver support counsellors

Have you heard about mental load? According to the definition on the Psychomédia website, mental load is the “invisible cognitive load that represents the organization of everything in the domestic sphere.”


This load is daily and can become heavier when a difficulty arises. It is often said that this is primarily a women's issue. However, as a caregiver, you have certainly already felt its effects in your daily life.

Thinking about medical appointments, administering medications, household chores, shopping to be done, bills to be paid, the well-being of other family members, etc., when we are taking care of a loved one, the management of the home, to which various tasks related to the caregiver role are added, increase the load significantly and can lead to exhaustion if nothing is done.

How can we reduce this load and thus prevent exhaustion?

 

Recognize yourself as a caregiver

To reduce the mental load, you must first recognize yourself as a caregiver. Recognize that your role evolves based on the context or condition of your loved one for example, and that you have your own needs.

 

Ask for help and share the tasks

It is not uncommon to hear caregivers say that they don’t dare ask for help from their friends and family out of fear of bothering them. You have to get over this fear. You could be surprised to see how willing your friends and family are to lend a hand. If given the opportunity, they are generally happy to help. Once help is requested, a meeting between family members can be useful to share the tasks and allocate them based on the interests, availability and capacities of each.

 

Take some respite

Accepting a stranger into your home to support you in your daily tasks or help you with your loved one is not easy. Even if an outside person may not do things the same way as you, it is important to use the help available to recharge your batteries and lighten your load. Exploring a new activity, different from what you usually do, will help you take a break and give you room to breathe.

 

Prioritize

Focusing on the tasks that have been accomplished rather than those left to do helps you handle daily activities more serenely. Don't hesitate to push off tasks that can wait.

 

To reduce the mental load, it is essential that you can find yourself! Reconnect as a couple, with family, with friends, rediscover your interests, desires and dreams. Know how to disconnect and unwind without feeling guilty. Remember that being a caregiver also involves enjoying nice experiences.


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