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8 Ways to Stop Stressing Now

Most of us live frantic lives. That's the nature of today's world. Add to that the job – for it is a job no matter how lovingly we do it – of caring for one or more elders, and it's no wonder that some of the forum readers and contributors say they'd just like to chuck it all and run away.

Many of us fit into the sandwich generation where we are caring for children, as well as one or more elders. For several years running, I totaled seven elders, with five needy elders at once, plus two children in my care. Talk about a sandwich – mine was a whopper. And yes, there were times when I wondered how I could keep it up. There were times when I would have loved to have run away, so I can relate to the people who write and say they are burned out, frustrated and would love to "run away from the whole thing." Obviously, we are responsible people and we are not going to do that. Feelings aren't bad. They are just human emotions. Don't add to your caregiver guilt load by beating yourself up over these thoughts.

If you feel like you'd love to escape, and you can handle that burnout with a yoga session, a lunch out with girlfriends, a run around the block or even a little therapeutic shopping, then you are likely in a fairly good spot.

Exercise, diet and some diversion can keep us healthy and make tough times easier to get through.

However, if this feeling of wanting to run away from your life goes on and on and on; if you're stuck and don't know where to turn; if you are depressed and unable to function normally – then you need to look at getting some heavy duty help.

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Over the span of two decades, author, columnist, consultant and speaker Carol Bradley Bursack cared for a neighbor and six elderly family members. Her experiences inspired her to pen, "Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories," a portable support group book for caregivers.

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