Caregiving is rewarding but can be incredibly stressful. It’s totally natural as a caregiver to feel frustrated, exhausted, sad, alone and stressed out. Caregiver stress is very common and you may be so focused on the person you care for that you may not even realize your own health and well-being are suffering.
Don’t let the emotional and physical demands that come with caregiving cause stress to boil up and trickle into your daily life. We’ve got some surefire strategies for dealing with caregiver stress that you can add to your personal arsenal.
7 Ways to Lower Caregiver Stress for Your Health and Sanity
Breaking a sweat can increase those feel-good endorphins that can help reduce that caregiver stress. Whether it’s an intense gym session or a long walk, exercise can help to release any negative energy.
Just five minutes a day of meditation can do some serious work on lowering your caregiver stress and anxiety. Research shows that meditating daily can alter the brain’s neural pathways which can make you more resilient to stress.
When you feel stress start to creep up on you, take a moment to focus on breathing deeply. Close your eyes, sit up straight and focus on nothing except your breathing. Then feel your stress melt away. Here are three breathing exercises to try from Dr. Weil.
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine—and it’s true! Laughing lowers cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”. Take a minute to call a friend who makes you smile or look up a funny video on the internet. That small break can make a huge difference in your day.
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Do Something Fun
One of the best ways to zap caregiver stress is to take some time to seriously enjoy yourself and do something fun! Find a hobby that interests you or do activities that you really enjoy. Also, make sure to surround yourself with people that you have fun with!
It’s not always easy to stay positive—especially as an insanely busy caregiver. But it’s important to make an active effort to try and find the positivity in your life. Not sure where to start? We’ve got 3 awesomely effective tricks on how to stay positive as a caregiver.
Listen to Music
Listening to some soothing music can lower anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure. Listening to upbeat music can help to invigorate you.
Part of taking care of yourself is finding Zen to relax and be less stressed. Here are 4 easy ways to find Zen amid the daily chaos in your everyday, caregiving life.