As part of a self-care plan, family caregivers need to learn how to handle stress. You’re not going to avoid stress. It’s important that you learn techniques to help you de-stress. If you don’t, you could wind up being one of the thousands who experience caregiver burnout.
Caregiver burnout is defined as emotional and physical stress that occurs when people do not find an outlet for self-care while being a caregiver. It’s also important to learn to manage stress when a break isn’t possible. These are the techniques to try. When you find one that works to relieve your stress and tension, make a point to practice it each day.
Find a quiet place to put your feet up and sit with your eyes closed. Make sure people do not interrupt you. Think of your favorite place in the world. It needs to be one where you feel at peace and fully relaxed. It may be the top of a mountain with the cool winds blowing on your face. Others may prefer a sandy beach with the sounds of the surf crashing into rocks.
As you sit with your eyes closed, imagine you’re in that favorite place. Dream up what you would be doing, how it would feel, and what sounds you’d hear. Spend about 30 minutes imagining this.
Deep breathing can help increase endorphins that make you feel good and help you relax and lessen stress hormones. Sit or lay in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a very deep breath in through the nose that makes that hand on your stomach move.
Hold that breath for a count of five and breathe out through your mouth. Continue doing this until you’ve reached 50 deep breaths.
Lay on your bed or a sofa and tighten all of the muscles in your body. Make sure you’ve clenched everything you can clench. One by one, release those muscles. Get to know the change in sensation between the muscles being clenched and being released.
When you’re feeling stressed, scan your body and see which muscles are clenched. Learn to take control of those muscles and force them to relax.
Take Yoga or Tai Chi
Yoga and Tai Chi are two fitness programs that aid in relaxation and de-stressing. As they both stretch muscles and work on clearing the mind and centering, they are ideal for reducing stress.
Set Up Respite Caregivers
You need to take breaks. Give yourself a day or two off each week. To do this, arrange visits from senior care aides. They can take over caring for your parent while you go out and run errands, socialize, or take a walk. Call a senior care agency and ask about respite care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Manalapan Township, NJ please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.
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