Coping With Anxiety for the Family Caregiver


When taking on the responsibility of caregiving it is not uncommon for children and spouses to suffer from varying degrees of anxiety and stress. It’s not necessarily that they resent caring for their loved one, but the cumulative effect of juggling work and family duties does take its toll.

Symptoms can include:

  • Broken sleep or struggling to get to sleep
  • Battling to get up in the morning
  • Being irritated and abnormally stressed at work
  • Frustrated with you children for the slightest thing
  • Constant worrying about everything including trivial matters
  • Rushing from one activity to another
  • drinking too much coffee or energy drinks, which are loaded with caffeine
  • A lack of concentration
  • Trembling, heart palpitations, sweating and fatigue

If you recognise any of these symptoms then you need to develop a coping strategy.


  • Keep your caffeine intake to a minimum
  • Cut down on sugar
  • Alcohol doesn’t help solve problems. Limit you intake for enjoyment only
  • Eat healthily, Lots of fruit and vegetables. Restricted use of fast foods
  • Don’t sweat the small things, they will probably resolve themselves
  • Learn breathing techniques and use them whenever those moments of panic come
  • Get exercise, even if it is just a long walk, or yoga
  • Life is full of uncertainty. Accept it. Embrace it. Don’t let it frighten you.
  • Get a professional caregiver to assist you so you can take personal time out
  • Don’t stop socialising. You need your friends and family.


Adopting these remedies ought to reduce your anxiety to manageable levels, although there may be abnormally difficult times ahead.  But don’t despair; there is nearly always a solution to all problems. Also, don’t be hard on yourself. You are doing a wonderful thing by taking care of your loved one

Anna-Marie Mortimer (RN)

BA (Nursing Science)