Caregiver stress is real! And that stress can take a toll on you. Stress can lead to feeling constantly overwhelmed or worried. Unfortunately, it can lead to depression, and even drug or alcohol abuse. Physical problems like headaches and body pains can also result from too much stress.
To avoid all the negative side effects of stress, you must learn to manage it.
In this post, we will go over 7 stress relief ideas for caregivers.
7 stress relief ideas for caregivers
Finding time to relieve stress as a caregiver isn’t always easy. That’s why this list includes several ways to reduce your stress in just a couple of minutes. Pick out a couple of your favorites, and purposefully integrate them into your day.
1. Take deep breaths
Oxygen is key to stress reduction. By concentrating on your breathing, and taking several deep breaths, you can get more oxygen into your blood.
When you feel yourself stressing out, take some time to breathe. Inhale through your nose until your lungs are filled with air. Hold it for a moment or two. Then slowly exhale through your mouth.
Repeat this exercise several times in a row for maximum benefit.
With just a couple of minutes of meditation a day, you can lower your stress. Meditation can also lower your blood pressure and improve your concentration. It’s a great habit to get into.
You can start by simply sitting in a comfortable position and clearing your mind. There are several different methods of meditation, so find one that works for you and regularly practice.
3. Get moving
Exercise gets your endorphins pumping. These feel-good neurotransmitters help relieve stress.
Incorporate more movement into your day. Take a brisk walk around the house. Jump rope for a few minutes. Do an exercise video.
Find an activity you enjoy and do it several times a week.
4. Go outside
Fresh air is calming. Studies found that being outside helps relieve anxiety and stress.
Sit outside and drink your morning coffee. Take a quick walk through the neighborhood. Spend some unplugged time outside each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
5. Put on some music
You can listen to music while you complete your day-to-day activities, making it an easy way to reduce your stress levels. Use your phone to create playlists full of music you love.
When you are really feeling stressed, classical music can help. There’s something calming about listening to the soothing sounds.
6. Count your blessings
Taking a few minutes each day to focus on what you do have can help improve your mental outlook. Gratitude helps lower stress.
You can express gratitude in a variety of ways. Try:
- Writing a thank you note to someone
- Creating a list of things you’re grateful for
- Making a “gratitude jar” and add a slip of paper with a new blessing every day
- Looking around the room and naming as many things you’re thankful for as possible
- Creating a gratitude collage and hanging it up where you can reflect on it
- Thinking about someone you’re thankful for
- Saying thank you more often
Being grateful helps you focus on the positive, which is beneficial.
7. Journal your thoughts
Don’t keep your thoughts and feelings bottled up inside yourself. Regularly take time to write them out. The act of journaling has been shown to reduce stress.
A journal is a place where you can process the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of caregiver. You can keep a digital journal, or a physical one with pen and paper.
Think about which style works best for you personally and get started. Remember this isn’t an assignment for school. Don’t worry about your grammar, spelling, or handwriting. Just release your thoughts as you write.
Take care of yourself
As a caregiver, you must take time to reduce your stress. It’s so easy to get caught up in taking care of someone else that you forget about you. Don’t do that! You must take care of your stress so you can continue providing care.
Do you know someone who is struggling to manage their stress as a caregiver? Please share this article with them.