As a family caregiver, you play a vital role in the life of your aging loved one—a role that can also be overwhelming, exhausting and sometimes thankless. Caring for a loved one is honorable and can be highly rewarding, but it’s no secret that this great responsibility can also be physically and mentally draining.
For both your own wellbeing and that of your loved one, it’s imperative that you find ways to relieve stress. While a lengthy leave of absence may be out of the question, there are other ways to relieve stress that can fit into a busy schedule. Here are a few pick-me-up ideas that don’t require much time or effort:
Call a Friend: Call a friend or relative who makes you smile and listens to you vent. Those special people in your life are usually the ones who know just what to say to boost your mood. You can talk and laugh with them comfortably, and listening to their current life events can help distract you from your own and give you a fresh perspective.
Enjoy a Hobby: When you have been going for what feels like hours, days and even months, breaks are crucial. Take at least 5 to 10 minutes to catch your breath and do something you enjoy. Relax and allow yourself to have fun. Read a chapter of your favorite book, do a little gardening, or choose your favorite form of exercise such as yoga or taking a brisk walk around the block.
Accept Help: Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is by getting just a little bit of help. If people offer to help, in any number of ways, accept the help. If no one is offering, ask for something specific.
Feel the Fresh Air: A walk or simply sitting outside and taking in the sunshine and fresh air can be a great pick-me-up. While your loved one is resting, grab a cup of coffee or tea and head outside. Feel the fresh air, listen to the leaves rustle in the wind, watch the trees sway and listen to the birds sing.
Enjoy Time Away: Give yourself a break to get refreshed at least a couple of times each month without feeling guilty. Get a massage, go to a service at your local church, enjoy a nice dinner with your spouse or friend, or simply relax and enjoy quiet time by yourself. Some organizations like Concordia offer Adult Day Care Services, where your loved one can spend the day safely while you take care of yourself.
Use Social Media: Many caregivers have chosen to use social media to share their daily endeavors in addition to reading the stories of other caregivers. You could blog regularly or simply post, share and read social media content. Share the good, the bad and the funny moments you’ve had while taking care of your loved one, along with the highlights of your day. Read other’s stories, too, and take the opportunity to bond with others over caregiving challenges. If you’re feeling isolated in your caregiving role, blogging can be a great way to meet new people going through similar situations, and provide much needed support.
We hope that you give some or all of these stress relief ideas a try. Please remember that it’s vital that you care for yourself and find ways to pick yourself up during many of the challenging times of caregiving. If you have other ideas or experiences to share, please let us know by commenting below.
Do you have questions about caregiving, or is it becoming too difficult for you? Are you in need of services for a loved one? If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571. Or, visit the care levels & services page of our website to learn about the types of care we offer including In-Home Care, Personal Care, Memory Care, Adult Day Services and more.
Are you in need of dementia care or memory care for a loved one? If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571. Or, visit the care levels & services page of our website to learn about the types of care we offer, including In-Home Care, Memory Care, Long-Term Nursing Care, Adult Day Services, Hospice Care and more.
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