5 Ways to Add Laughter to Caregiving

Adding laughter to caregiving is an effective way to combat the negative effects of stress

Caregiving is a challenging responsibility that increases stress and contributes to burnout and compassion fatigue. One effective way to combat the negative effects of long-term stress is to add some humor to your days. Smiles and laughter benefit both caregivers and older adults. Here, Homewatch CareGivers shares 5 ways to add laughter to caregiving.

 

Caring for an older adult can be a draining and frustrating task.

Though chronic medical conditions and physical decline can be very serious and worthy of deep emotions and reflections, a wonderful way to cope with pain or stress is to use humor.

 
Advertisement
 

Humor protects against burnout

Caregiving is a demanding, stressful, 24/7 responsibility. It’s no surprise that caregivers are at risk of burnout.

However, there are ways to combat this chronic stress and help protect against potential burnout. One way is to use humor.

Making a conscious effort to find something funny or uplifting each day improves your state of mind and helps you notice the positive things, even on the toughest days.

 

Laughter boosts health and well-being

Something as simple as smiling or laughing can actually have a direct impact on your physical health, in addition to boosting mental well-being.

Laughing and smiling releases dopamine, which can decrease the stress hormones within our body, and has also been shown to elevate our pain thresholds.

As many of us know, stress can contribute to physical illness, so an increase in dopamine can help protect against the negative health effects of chronic stress. 

 

5 ways to add laughter during caregiving

Here are some simple tips to encourage humor in caregiving to bring the benefits of laughter and joy into each day:

  1. Use the “Yes, and…” rule (like in improvisational theater or comedy) to keep the conversation moving rather than correcting or questioning someone. It could result in a funny story you create together.
  2. Tell a joke, literally. If you don’t know any, buy a book of jokes and read a few together each day. This one is silly and fun.
  3. Poke a little fun at yourself and it might get the giggles started between both of you.
  4. Remember that you are aging too, not just caring for someone who is older. Putting things in perspective can be relaxing and funny.
  5. Try a 15 minute laughter yoga video (free).

 

 Recommended for you:

 

Guest contributor: Nicole Brackett is a Licensed Practical Nurse and the Care Delivery and Education Manager for Homewatch CareGivers, a leading care service. Founded in 1980, Homewatch CareGivers delivers a variety of person-directed, professional at-home services including elder care, care for individuals with developmental and physical conditions, after-surgery care and help for those living with dementia. For more information, visit homewatchcaregivers.com

 

This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain some affiliate links. We never link to products or services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.


[optin-monster slug=”yxbytm35zhsdfopnw7qk”][optin-monster slug=”jvhyplxmb4umsjazxecn”]

2 Comments

  • Reply December 25, 2023

    Yolanda Mickens

    I’M NOT SURE IF YOU ARE DOING ANYTHING THAT I CAN GET IN ON BUT MY MOMMY AND MY LIL MAMA ( my youngest daughter) ARE HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ON XMAS, OUR CLOSEST FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ALWAYS COME OVER DIDNT MISS TODAY AND I LOVE THEM ALL FOR THAT 💯🙏🏽🥰 MY MOM ALWAYS BEEN SO SPOILED, LOL SO OF COURSE SHE TOOK FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE VISIT THAT CAME WITH HER VERY OWN RED LOBSTER DINNER WITH NO OTHER THEN HER FAVORITE GARLIC BISCUITS 🤗☺️ SHE WAS SO SLEEPY BUT SHE DIDN’T LET THAT GET IN THE WAY OF HER GETTING PAMPERED BY HER FAVORITES ( SHHHHH🤫🤗☺️) AND IT GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET SOME THINGS DONE WHILE THEY VISIT US LIKE A LOAD OF COURSE AND BLEACHING THE HOUSE, CATCHING UP ON A FEW PHONE CALLS AND NOW MAMA IS CHILLING OUT WATCHING HER FAVORITE MOVIES. THE STRESS AND I ARE SAYING OUR GOOD BYES AND THE SUNSHINE AT NIGHTTIME IS WHAT I HAVE RIGHT NOW MAMA I LOVE YOU AND I SALUTE ALLTHE CAREGIVERS WHO ARE DEDICATED TO HELPING THEIR PARENTS OR A PERSON IN NEED. GOD BLESS US ALL THANKS AGAIN 💯🙏🏽🥰🥰🥰🥰😘😘😘😘

    • Reply December 25, 2023

      DailyCaring

      It’s wonderful that you and your mom had such a lovely day with family! And fantastic that you got a chance to catch up on some other things as well ❤️

Leave a Reply