A caregiver helps people in difficult or transitional phases of their lives. Though caregivers can look after people of all ages, the majority of them work with older people with various diseases and disabilities. It takes a significant investment of energy, time, and patience to take on this role. Sadly, hectic schedules and an infinite list of priorities make it challenging for caregivers to strike a balance in their own lives. If you are a caregiver, you can relate to this issue. However, we are enlisting a few simple measures that will help you unwind and relax:
- Take Deep Breaths
Taking shallow breaths causes your heart to beat faster and your muscles to become stiff, increasing your stress level. On the contrary, deep breathing helps you relax instantly by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood.
To begin with, place your hand near your belly button when you are stressed. Then, as you slowly inhale through your nose, notice how your hand begins to move outward. Holding the breath for a few seconds and slowly exhaling it is a powerful relaxation technique. Repeat the same practice multiple times. We recommend you set a specific time for deep breathing for best results.
- Practice Gratefulness
It is easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks that must be completed or crossed off your “to-do” list. Getting overwhelmed sometimes leads nurses to engage in nursing home abuse and neglect, especially with senior patients. In addition, the responsibilities of daily life often prevent us from taking the time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. Remind yourself you are a caregiver! Take a moment to express your gratitude for the opportunity to work in a field that has the potential to influence the lives of others positively.
Set aside a few minutes each day and think about two or three things you are genuinely grateful for. The practice will keep you grounded and help you narrow down your attention.
- Tap Into Visualization
During this relaxation method, you have to visualize images to take a guided mental journey to a tranquil setting or experience. Therefore, make sure you incorporate maximum senses during visualization. It will help you feel more at ease. For instance, if you want to imagine yourself unwinding at the beach, envision the salty air, the sun’s warmth on your skin, and the sound of crashing waves.
- Spare Time For Exercise
Simply engaging in physical activity for twenty to thirty minutes every day will alleviate stress by releasing endorphins. You do not necessarily have to go to a gym for that. You may go outside the box and come up with new ideas! Swimming, cycling, hiking, and doing something as simple as going for a walk with your dog will get the job done. In no time, you will be feeling energetic and relaxed.
- Stay Connected
It is critical to keep in touch with folks outside of your immediate family and the person you are caring for. Ideally, it would help if you aimed to obtain the right mix of social support from various sources, including old friends, online support groups, neighbors, and so on.
- Turn To Music
Over centuries, music has been valued for its dual abilities to entertain and heal. Listening to music for around 30 minutes has been shown to have a substantial calming effect. A fair proportion of people find slow music particularly helpful when stressed out. However, music taste varies from person to person. So you are the ultimate judge to decide what constitutes “relaxing music” for you. Regardless of your preferred musical genre, make it a point to play music whenever possible.
- Leverage Meditation
Meditation is a standard treatment for stress. It transforms your mindset from negative to positive, making you feel more optimistic. If you have never done meditation before, start slow and gradually extend your time. For the first few days, set a goal to meditate for 2-3 minutes every day. Soon, you will not have any difficulty meditating for ten to fifteen minutes regularly.
Remember, negative thoughts will nip in and out during meditation. Consider them your friends, not your unwanted guests. Take a fresh look at the situation, and do not let yourself get discouraged. Meditating for long periods without getting sidetracked is difficult.
- Take A Break
Choose a particular day of a week or month and hand over your caregiving responsibilities to someone else. Make plans to do something special at this time or enjoy the sensation of doing nothing at all. The best part is that you get to make your own decisions – free of the burden of caring for someone else.
- Set Up A Schedule
Establishing daily rituals, such as walking the dog after dinner or taking a hot bath before bed, can reduce caregiver stress. A pattern that nourishes your body and mind can help you unwind. Moreover, it may even contribute to sound sleep.
Productively coping with caregiver stress will enable you to prevent burnout. Besides, it will also make sure you become a better caregiver for your loved one(s). So, every day, even if it is only for a few minutes, you should take a break to de-stress. You deserve it and need it after giving so much of yourself to others.