Stress-busters that work for caregivers
We found a handy infographic listing 10 top ways to relieve stress. At first glance, they might look like generic suggestions, but don’t jump to conclusions yet – these are highly recommended stress-busters.
To make these even more helpful in your daily life, we’ve got specific suggestions for how to use each tip to reduce caregiver stress and boost overall health and well-being.
Top 10 tips for managing caregiver stress
Caregivers are under constant stress. Meditation is perfect for caregivers because it’s free, can be done anywhere at any time, and is a proven way to reduce stress.
Studies have shown that meditation lowers blood pressure, boosts immune system, and improves ability to concentrate. The best part is that you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to meditation – you can get the benefits in just a few minutes a day.
Here’s a useful (and free!) mobile app that helps you get the benefits of meditation in 2 minutes.
2. Breathe deeply
As a caregiver, there are moments where your frustration, anger, or anxiety will spike to overwhelming levels. When that happens, breathing deeply is your best friend. It forces you to pause and calm down so you can better deal with whatever is happening.
Navy SEALs use deep breathing techniques to calm themselves during life-threatening situations like searching for hidden bombs. Hey, if it works for something like that, it won’t hurt to give it a try.
3. Reach out
Leaning on the people in your support system is an effective way to reduce stress. We all need to vent, hear a friendly voice, or escape the responsibility for a while.
It doesn’t matter if you connect in person, on the phone, on video chat, or in an online group. The point is to reach out to people who are there for you and can help you feel better when you’re especially down.
Getting up and moving is a great way to burn off stress and improves overall health. Regular exercise helps ward off conditions that commonly plague caregivers, like depression and heart disease.
As the saying goes, “it’s better to laugh than cry.” Noticing funny moments in caregiving situations helps lighten the mood and reduce stress for both you and your older adult.
6. Listen to music
Music has an amazing effect on the human body. It can even transform seniors with dementia. So it’s no surprise that music boosts mood, lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and more.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, play your favorite tunes. You can also use these top song suggestions to give your older adult some music therapy.
7. Be grateful
This may sound corny, but being grateful does reduce stress. Studies show that practicing gratitude can make you happier, lower stress, protect you from depression, improve sleep, and boost your immune system.
It’s also quick, easy, and free – try these tips to get started being grateful.
8. Accept that you can’t control everything
This is an important one for caregivers. Accept that you can only do your best to help your older adult have the best quality of life possible. There’s a lot that you simply cannot control.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t control their decisions, cure incurable diseases, or stop the aging process. If negative things happen despite all your efforts, remind yourself that it’s not because you didn’t try hard enough.
9. Stay positive
Hearing positive, supportive statements in your head is a lot more pleasant and calming than a steady stream of negativity. To lower stress, work on reducing the amount and intensity of negative self talk while increasing positive self talk. Find out how.
10. Do something fun
Taking regular breaks and getting time for yourself is a key to managing caregiver stress. Even if you can only get away for 5 minutes at a time, use it to do something you enjoy. It could be reading a book or magazine, sewing, gardening, coloring…anything you like!
Use this infographic as a reminder of stress management tips
Stress and caregiving may go hand in hand, but there are tips you can use to reduce its negative effects. Save or print the image (or just bookmark this webpage) to remind yourself of these top 10 stress relief and coping techniques.
You might also like:
— Stress Relief for Caregivers: Free App Helps You Relax in 2 Minutes
— How to Relieve Caregiver Stress: 4 Tips from Navy SEALs
— 3 Ways to Manage Caregiver Stress and Prevent Burnout
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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