EDINBURG, Texas — With caregivers playing a pivotal role in helping others stay safe, it’s also important for them to prioritize their mental health and take care of themselves during this pandemic.
Aside from initial fears of being exposed to COVID-19, Joseph Garcia, Director of Clinical Services for South Texas Health System Behavioral said caregivers experience additional stress.
“They fear unintentionally exposing others to illness considering our culture. I think those that we care for, we often develop a family-like attachment so we feel for them when they fall into further illness,” said Garcia. “This is especially true of older adults and pediatrics.”
Garcia adds that maintaining a strong mental health during this time is an effort but encourages caregivers to acknowledge that they are doing everything they can to keep themselves and others safe.
“We recommend focusing less on words like isolation, pandemic and instead credit ourselves with practicing safety measures as a precaution to stay safe and healthy, we want to repeat positive self-talk,” said Garcia.
And with positive attitudes comes self-care, which is why Garcia also wants caregivers to make sure that they get rest.
“An adequate amount of rest is extremely important, make sure to take breaks, make sure to go outside,” advised Garcia. “Again give yourself credit for everything that you’re doing”
Garcia said it important now than ever to communicate and identify who your supporters are and keep them as close as possible.
In addition, he said staying informed is as equally important because the more informed we are, the better decisions we make.