If you are a caregiver and you have recognized your need for stress relief, that is the first step to taking control of your health and well being. It is a rewarding and difficult job to take on the responsibility of providing care for an elderly family member or friend, but what is most important is that you take care of yourself. You are only human but when you feel overwhelmed with your care duties, just read these tips to relieve your stress.
- Connect with friends.
Getting together with friends and family regularly to do something fun can keep feelings of isolation at bay. Socialization will keep you calm, focused and happy.
Besides eating right, exercising is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you will stay positive as a caregiver. Exercise relieves feelings of stress, depression and frustration and it is good for your body and mind. Taking a walk, riding a bike or even practicing yoga are excellent ways to exercise and keep your stress level low. It will also help you sleep better, which you know you need.
- Find time for yourself and activities that you enjoy.
Never forget yourself, even if you are a full-time caregiver for another person. Keep up with your favorite activities, whether it is reading, listening to music, or going to the movies. Doing what you enjoy gets you out of the house and keeps you positive.
- Get organized.
Keep a calendar or a to-do list on the refrigerator. Avoid clutter around the home. Do something little each day, such as organize a drawer or vacuum. These little organizational tips do wonders for keeping yourself focused on what your most important responsibilities are. You won’t get bogged down by the little things.
- Use community resources for yourself and your loved one.
Many people do not realize how much their community offers caregivers in terms of activities and assistance. Research respite care, adult day care and support groups, so that you can have a break and time for yourself. Even utilizing the local library for books, movies and music can help relieve stress.
The main focus of this article is to not lose sight of you in your caregiving role. Above all, you are a human being who has needs and desires and though you may be a caregiver that is not your defining characteristic. Stress can creep up slowly if you do not take care of yourself and do things that you enjoy. If you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed out, consider one or more of the items on this list. Integrate these things into your daily and weekly routines to prevent reaching that point in the first place. If you feel that it is more serious than that, consider talking to a doctor, counselor or friends and family members.