Posted on Apr 11, 2014
Caregiver Relaxation Ideas and In Home Help
Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding. You may learn many interesting facts about their history and your family’s past through stories that might not have otherwise been told. You may really enjoy the time spent with an elderly loved one. While being a caregiver for an older loved one can be pleasurable; day to day life can get pretty overwhelming and involves many stressors. One of the biggest adjustments is a change to your family dynamic and household disruption: you may have many of your own life chores to complete on a daily basis and adding the workload of a loved one can get heavy at times.
Stress is usually the top complaint among caregivers. It is important to be aware of stress signals so that we can prevent burnout. If you find that you are unable to fully relax and release your shoulders, or if you feel your brow is constantly furrowed, you may be experiencing stress. You may be experiencing caregiver burnout if you have less energy than you used to, or if you are sick more often than not. If you find it difficult to focus on little tasks and are constantly distracted and irritable you may be feeling pressure. Constant muscle strain and tension can be very hard on the body and it is important to release this tension whenever possible. Long term stress can reduce the strength of the immune system to half of what is normal. The key point is that caregivers need care too. It is important to take time out for yourself to recharge so you can provide the best care for the loved ones in your life.
The following caregiver relaxation ideas will help prevent caregiver burnout and release some stress, even in just a few minutes a day:
Remember to take the time to actually breathe. Some may call this meditation; but you do not have to sit in any special pose to achieve the benefits of a good clean breath or two. Take the time to turn off your phone, remove any distractions and sit in a quiet space for a moment. Focus on the breath going in and out of your body and zone out. It’s as refreshing as it seems.
Take a walk. Releasing some tension through moderate exercise can be as good for our bodies as it is for our minds. If it’s a nice day, a twenty minute stroll around the neighborhood could be just the right break from a tense situation. Take this time to think about nothing other than a favorite song or a funny memory. Laughter is an excellent antidote to stress. A little goes a really long way. Do whatever you enjoy; whether it’s gardening, reading, tinkering, or walking the dog. Just get out of the house. It is not the time to make a mental list of the to-dos in your life. That can be handled when you return from your break.
Whenever possible, ask for help. Don’t expect your friends and family to know how difficult it can be to care for an elderly loved one, on top of your own busy household schedule. Be up front and express to your concerns and keep dialogue open.
Caregivers often forget how important it is to take time away from the daily pressures of caring for a loved one. It can be quite beneficial to take an entire day off, or at the very least a few hours from a very busy schedule. Hire in home help or request that a family member or friend to step in for the day so you can carve out me-time. Make sure to take the time for relaxation into your schedule; it will help prevent caregiver burnout and relieve the stress that often plagues caregivers.
If you would like to learn more about caring and consistent in home help for the elderly and the many benefits of professional in home senior care or dementia and Alzheimer’s care, call Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara to speak to a senior care specialist today 805-687-7777! The compassionate senior care specialists at Senior Helpers can also guide you through the process of receiving the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit if your elderly loved one is a veteran. In home senior care and in home assisted living allows your loved one to stay in the comforts of their own home for as long as possible while receiving the level of care they need. Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara provides a wide range of services including Alzheimer’s and dementia care, personal assistance, companionship, and so much more to all areas of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, and Carpinteria, California.