Reduce Caregiver Stress Using Your Smartphone Alarm

reduce caregiver stress

Regular reminders help caregivers reduce stress

As a caregiver, it’s too easy to get caught up in daily tasks and forget to take care of yourself. While helping your older adult, you probably run into stressful situations, annoyances, and arguments on a regular basis.

One simple way to reduce this caregiving stress and the physical damage it causes is to regularly remind yourself what’s important, why you should let go of negativity, or to take a brief time-out.

But how do you remember to take a moment for yourself in the middle of your hectic day? We found a free solution using the smartphone alarm that’s already at your fingertips.

 

Your smartphone is your de-stressing buddy

The alarm function on your smartphone can be used to help you remember to take much-needed moments for yourself. All it takes is a one-time setup of recurring alarm reminders with calming or inspirational phrases.

When you set these alarms up to repeat every day, they’ll automatically go off each day. Even though you dismiss the alarm when it goes off, it will still pop up at the same time the next day.

 

How to set up recurring reminders (steps shown on iPhone)

On your iPhone, open the Clock app and make sure you’re on the “Alarm” tab at the bottom. Then, tap the plus button in the upper right corner to set up a new reminder.

reduce caregiver stressTap the plus sign to create a new alarm

 

Next, choose a time of day, then select “Repeat” in the menu below the time selection.

reduce caregiver stressChoose your new alarm’s settings on this screen

 

In the Repeat screen, choose the days you want this alarm to be active. We chose to have this alarm repeat every day of the week.

reduce caregiver stressTap each day to select. The checkmark means it’s selected.

 

After choosing when the alarm should repeat, tap “Back” to save your Repeat days and go back to the Alarm settings screen. Then, select “Label” to enter your relaxing or inspirational phrase. This phrase shows up on your phone’s screen with the alarm goes off.

reduce caregiver stressOur reminder is “Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths.”

 

Now, tap “Back” to save your Label and go back to the Alarm settings screen. Next, select “Sound” to make the alarm sound a gentle, soothing one rather than an unpleasant blare. We like the Harp sound.

reduce caregiver stressThe harp sound is relaxing and pleasant

 

The last (and most important) step is to save the new alarm you’ve created. Tap “Save” in the upper right corner.

reduce caregiver stressSave your new alarm

 

You’re all set! Your new alarm will alert you to take a moment to breathe and let the tension flow out of your body. Even a little break like this reduces stress and improves health.

reduce caregiver stress
Our alarm in action

 

Set multiple alarms throughout the day

You can set up as many alarms as you’d like throughout the day. In the morning, we like getting the day started on a positive note with an inspirational saying or quote. Our mid-day reminder reminds us to breathe and relax. At the end of the day, the reminder help us think about what we’re grateful for.

 

Bottom line

No matter what brand of smartphone you have, the included alarm function can help you de-stress. Using your smartphone alarm to remind yourself to breathe, relax, or think about an inspiring quote is an effective way for caregivers to reduce stress and improve health.

 

You might also like:
10 Stress Relief Tips for Caregivers [Infographic]
5 Ways to Use a Journal to Reduce Caregiver Stress
Stress Relief for Caregivers: Free App Helps You Relax in 2 Minutes – Calm.com

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: The New Times

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


6 Comments

  • Reply March 21, 2017

    LeandroM

    I use my phone to remind me of my caregiving tasks, especially if it will be an overwhelming day. It helps me keep things organized and right on schedule. That way my time is “clean” and I’m aware of the available time when to relax my mind and body.

    • Reply March 21, 2017

      DailyCaring

      That’s a great tip! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply March 16, 2017

    Carol Paglino

    Thanks, I use my phone alarm for when it’s time for meds. My husband takes several different kinds throughout the day. That is beyond helpful for us. No forgetting! I did not know I could change the alarm sound. That’s next. Thanks for all your helpful tips during a difficult time for both of us.

    • Reply March 16, 2017

      DailyCaring

      I’m so glad to hear that these tips are helpful! I hope you enjoy the new alarm sounds and that the gentle reminders help you take a moment to breathe and relax. You’ve got a lot to manage with all the medications and caregiving in general. Big hugs!

  • Reply September 22, 2015

    Peter Kang

    This is an interesting idea to help manage caregiver stress! Who would’ve thought it’d be so easy to set up something like this. What would you recommend to professional caregivers who need to de-stress from a long day at work?

    • Reply September 22, 2015

      Connie Chow

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your comment! It’s true that professional caregivers feel the negative effects of caregiver stress as well. The job is very similar, just without the family dynamics and emotional baggage. I think professional caregivers will get the same benefit from taking a quick breather. It will reduce frustrations or stress they’re feeling, which is good for their client and keep the caregiver healthier at the same time.

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