Caregiving and stress frequently go hand in hand. Committing your life to meeting the needs of an elderly family member can be difficult, especially when a long-term health problem is at play, leaving family caregivers with fewer opportunities to meet their own needs and for enjoyable and relaxing activities. Yet, it’s really important for family caregivers to be certain to designate regular, ongoing time to de-stress and gather energy again, and to make their own self-care a top priority.
At Compassionate Nursing Services, a Chesterfield home care services provider for the surrounding communities, we want to help family members remain in good health in addition to the older individuals for whom they’re providing care. These guidelines can help replace stress with serenity, and restore a healthy life balance for family caregivers:
- Practice controlled breathing. Deep, measured breathing, as straightforward as it seems to be, is an effective technique to immediately calm anxiety and stress. Sit in a relaxed position, breathe in with your nose to a count of 5, and then breathe out with your nose for a count of 5. Repeat several times, and increase the length of time you breathe in and out, up to a count of ten.
- Focus on your blessings. It’s easy to put the emphasis on the obstacles at hand and forget about the countless positives that make up each of our lives. Making a conscious effort to take a mental inventory of things you’re thankful for can help considerably with altering your perspective, no matter how small the positives may seem: a patch of sunlight shining through the dining room window, a hot cup of tea, a smile on your loved one’s face.
- Give your self-worth a boost. Swapping negative thoughts with positive ones also applies to our internal conversation about ourselves. Rather than mentally beating yourself up over losing your patience or an oversight you’ve made, emphasize to yourself that you’re doing the best you can and are working hard to make life the very best it can be for your elderly loved one.
- Stay active. Physical activity releases endorphins to naturally lift your frame of mind and sense of well-being. While of course it can be hard to set aside time for a good workout, it’s possible to break an exercise routine into smaller pieces and still gain the rewards. For instance, park your car a greater distance from the mall when running errands, make an effort to always take the stairs instead of the elevator, and pedal on a stationary bike while visiting with your senior loved one.
- Find a care partner. Most importantly, understand that no one can take care of caregiving tasks all alone. Working with a trusted in-home care agency, like Compassionate Nursing Services, allows family caregivers time away to rest and recharge, while having the assurance that their older loved one is receiving excellent care.
Are you ready to enjoy a life of minimized stress and enhanced peace of mind? Contact Compassionate Nursing Services, 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! Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the areas where we offer care.