Stress and family caregiving generally go hand in hand. Committing your life to meet the needs of an elderly family member can be daunting, especially when a chronic health problem is at play, leaving family members with fewer opportunities to meet their own needs and for fun and relaxing activities. Yet, it’s really important for family caregivers to make sure to set aside regular, ongoing time to de-stress and gather energy again, and to make their own self-care a high priority.
At Hearts at Home, providers of the elder care Overland Park, KS families need, we want to make certain that family members remain in good health as well as the individuals for whom they’re providing care. Taking the steps below can help replace stress with tranquility, and restore a healthy life balance for those providing care:
- Take a deep breath. Deep, measured breathing, as simple and easy as it seems to be, is a great technique to immediately calm tension and stress. Sit in a relaxed position, breathe in through your nose to a count of five, and then breathe out with your nose for a count of five. Repeat several times, and increase the length of time you breathe in and out, up to a count of ten.
- Focus on the positives. It’s normal to concentrate on the problems at hand and push aside thoughts of the many upsides that make up each of our lives. Taking a mental inventory of things you’re grateful for can help tremendously with shifting your perspective, irrespective of how small the positives may seem: a sunbeam shining through the family room window, a steaming cup of coffee, the laughter of your loved one at a shared memory.
- Build yourself up. Exchanging negative thoughts with positive ones also applies to our internal conversation about ourselves. Rather than beating yourself up internally about losing your patience or an oversight you’ve made, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can and are working hard to make life the very best it can be for your loved one.
- Keep moving. Physical exercise produces endorphins to naturally boost your frame of mind and sense of wellbeing. Although of course it can be hard to set aside time for a good workout, it’s also possible to break an exercise schedule into smaller pieces and still reap the rewards. For instance, park the car farther from the shopping mall when running errands, try to always take the stairs instead of the elevator, and ride a stationary bike while chatting with your senior loved one.
- Find a care partner. Most importantly of all, realize that no one can take care of caregiving tasks all alone. Partnering with a reputable in-home care provider, like Hearts at Home, allows family caregivers time away to rest and recharge, while having the assurance that their elderly loved one is receiving excellent care.
Are you ready to enjoy a life of reduced stress and enhanced peace of mind? Contact Hearts at Home, providers of the best elder care Overland Park, KS and the surrounding area has to offer, for more tips and resources for relieving caregiving stress and for a partner in care to walk with you every step of the way with professional in-home care services for seniors!