Being a caregiver is both rewarding and stressful. You have a lot to balance and manage, and that can cause stress which may leak over to other areas of your life. While you can’t control some of the stressful situations that will occur while you provide care for your aging parent, you can take steps to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. A healthier caregiver makes a better caregiver. So, when you feel the pressures and stresses of caring for your parent start to overtake your peace, try some of these relaxation techniques to help you release some of that stress.
- Exercise – Exercise doesn’t have to mean an hour-long aerobic workout; it can mean a calming walk through your local park or even a half-hour on the treadmill watching your favorite TV show. Of course, for some, vigorous activity is relaxing, so the important thing is finding what helps you relax and then consistently doing it. It’s easy to push exercise to the wayside when you’re stressed, but making time for it, will improve the other stressful parts of your day.
- Just Breathe – Mindful breathing can help reduce your heartbeat and the stress that you’re feeling. You can do it on your own, anywhere and at anyplace, whenever you need it. By simply counting and taking in deep breaths and then letting them out, you make your mind focus on something other than the stress that’s overtaking you. You can also find great apps for your phone to help you practice mindful breathing.
- Repetitive Prayers – Your prayers can be to a higher power or they can be more like a mantra that you repeat multiple times. Silently or quietly repeating a calming prayer or phrase over and over can help affirm who you truly are and what you’re doing. This technique is especially soothing for those who consider themselves spiritual.
- Yoga – Yoga combines rhythmic breathing with slow, intentional movements that freeze into postures that are meant to relax your body. The physical aspects of yoga are designed to bring your mental focus to another place other than your racing thoughts. While there are plenty of great yoga classes (and lots of variants), you can also perform yoga on your own if you are not able to socialize with others at this time. Find a calm place, a mat, and perhaps a soothing sound to practice yoga and find the peace within yourself.
- Go to Your Happy Place – This technique does not require to actually physically go to your happy place. Called “guided imagery,” this technique has you imagine soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and focus. While you can choose a random beach, making it an actual beach you have been to and experienced a positive time at, will enhance the relief you receive from this technique.
If this is new to you, give them all a try and see what works for you to help reduce stress and provide a calmness that will help you carry on as a caregiver with added grace and energy.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Madison, WI please contact the caring staff at Agape Senior Services Madison today. (608) 841-1004