Stress reduction techniques make a big difference
Caregiving is stressful, there’s no question about it. But using effective stress reduction and management techniques can make a big difference in your physical and mental health. It helps you keep going without burning out.
We found a helpful article from the American Heart Association that covers 3 essential techniques for reducing and managing stress.
It explains how positive self talk, emergency stress stoppers, and go-to stress-busting activities put a stop to the stressful negative thoughts and help you feel good again. We highlight the most important points here.
3 essential caregiver stress relief tips
1. Focus on positive self-talk
We all have a voice in our heads – that’s called self talk. And we can speak positively or negatively to ourselves.
Negative self talk increases stress and makes you miserable. Positive self talk reduces stress and helps you calm down and feel good about yourself.
With practice, you can learn to shift negative thoughts to positive ones and the article shares excellent examples of how to do this. The next time you speak negatively to yourself, try turning it around to something positive, like in these examples.
- I can’t do this. ► I’ll do the best I can. I’ve got this.
- Everything is going wrong. ► I can handle this if I take one step at a time.
- I hate it when this happens. ► I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.
- I feel helpless and alone. ► I can reach out and get help if I need it.
- I can’t believe I screwed up. ► I’m human, and we all make mistakes. I can fix it.
After practicing this technique, you’ll be sure to notice a difference in your stress levels.
2. Use emergency stress stoppers
The American Heart Association’s article gives 10 suggestions for stopping stress fast. Here are 5 that are especially helpful for caregivers:
- Take slow, deep breaths (like Navy SEAL 4 x 4 x 4 breathing) until you feel your body start to relax.
- Go for a walk, even if it’s just to the restroom and back. It breaks the tension and gives you a chance to think things through.
- Walk away from the situation for a while. Handle it later once things have calmed down.
- Break down big problems into smaller parts. Take one step at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once.
- Turn on some relaxing or inspiring music.
We’ve got additional suggestions for stopping stress in its tracks here.
3. Turn to stress-busting activities to break the cycle
When stress is getting to you and you need to break the cycle, switch to an activity that makes you feel good – even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes. It helps to have a handy list of stress-busting ideas to draw upon so you can immediately refocus your energy.
Here are a few of the article’s suggestions:
- Work on a scrapbook or photo album to focus on good memories
- Read a book, short story, or magazine
- Listen to your favorite music or watch an inspiring performance (check online for free at YouTube)
- Take a walk in nature
- Meditate or practice yoga
Get even more instant caregiver stress relief tips here.
Recommended for you:
- 15 Quick Tips for Managing Caregiver Stress
- 5 Coping Tips for the Overwhelmed Caregiver
- Managing Stress for Caregivers: 7 Calming Techniques for Stressful Situations
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: David York Agency Home Healthcare
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