Stress and family caregiving usually go hand in hand. Devoting your life to fulfilling the needs of an older family member can be challenging, particularly when a prolonged health concern is at play, leaving family caregivers with less time to meet their own needs and for pleasant and relaxing activities. However, it’s really important for family caregivers to be sure to set aside regular, ongoing time to relax and gather energy again, and to make their own self-care a priority before caregiver stress becomes too much.
At Grace Home Care, Topeka respite care providers, we want to make certain that family members remain healthy along with the older adults for whom they’re providing care. The following tips can help replace stress with calmness, and restore a healthy life balance for family members:
- Breathe. Deep, controlled breathing, as simplistic as it seems to be, is a very effective technique to very quickly calm anxiety and stress. Sit in a relaxed position, breathe in with your nose to a count of five, and then breathe out with your nose for a count of five. Repeat a handful of times, and increase the length of time you breathe in and out, up to a count of ten.
- Focus on your blessings. It’s easy to zero in on the obstacles at hand and push aside thoughts of the numerous upsides that make up each of our lives. Taking a mental inventory of things you’re grateful for can help enormously with altering your viewpoint, irrespective of how small the positives may seem: a sunbeam shining into the kitchen, a steaming cup of tea, your loved one’s smile.
- Give your self-esteem a boost. Substituting negative thoughts with positive ones also applies to our internal dialogue about ourselves. Rather than berating yourself internally about losing your patience or an oversight you’ve made, tell yourself that you’re doing the best you can and are working hard to make life the best it can be for your elderly loved one.
- Remain active. Physical activity releases endorphins to naturally give a boost to your spirits and sense of well-being. Although of course it can be hard to set aside time for a great workout, it’s also beneficial to break an exercise regimen into smaller pieces and still realize the rewards. For example, park your car farther from the shopping mall when running errands, make an effort to always take the steps instead of the elevator, and ride a stationary bike while sharing a conversation with your senior loved one.
- Find a care partner. Above all, understand that no one can take care of caregiving tasks alone. Working with a reliable in-home care provider, like Grace Home Care, allows family caregivers time away to rest and recharge, while having the assurance that their older loved one is receiving excellent care.
Are you ready to enjoy a life of decreased stress and enhanced peace of mind? Contact our Topeka respite care team, for more tips and resources for reducing caregiver stress and for a partner in care to walk with you every step of the way with professional in-home care services for seniors! Click here to view our full service area.