Serving as a family caregiver for a senior loved one is definitely an act of love. Even though it may certainly be rewarding, it can also quickly become stressful, as a consequence of:
- The physical complications of a chronic medical condition
- The cognitive challenges of dementia
- Feeling helpless and struggling to solve the senior’s problems
- Feeling overworked without sufficient time for self-care
- And numerous other contributing factors
It’s extremely important for family caregivers to set aside planned time each day to relax and recharge, and to help counteract stress. Nevertheless, prioritizing time to do so may seem impossible.
At Home With You Senior Care, we recognize how much stress family members face when a senior loved one is in need of care and attention. Our services benefit not only the older adults we care for, but the rest of the family as well, allowing family caregivers to get much-needed time away. These tips from our home care experts can help alleviate caregiver stress and restore peace:
- Breathe deeply. Deep breathing is a wonderful way for you to quickly calm an anxious heart. And you can do it anywhere, anytime! Just settle into a comfy, seated position, breathe in through your nose while counting silently to five. Next, release your breath through your nose, again while silently counting to five. Repeat as often as needed until you are feeling more peaceful.
- Think intentionally. Focusing on the issues occurring right now is a normal impulse, but with some practice, you can easily learn how to intentionally shift your thinking to something more positive. In the midst of a difficult situation, the positives may not be easy to find, but they’re there nonetheless – even if it’s something as seemingly insignificant as the beauty of the bouquet of flowers on the table, the words to your favorite song, or even the aroma of banana bread baking in the oven.
- Thank yourself. Meeting the care needs of someone else is important work, work that is worthy of respect. It’s work that you’d thank someone else for doing, but are you taking time to thank yourself? Often, family care providers beat themselves up in replaying all of the mistakes they’ve made. Instead, notice the things you are doing that truly help the one you love, and appreciate yourself for the kindnesses you are showing.
- Exercise frequently. Physical activity produces endorphins that provide an all-natural boost to the mental perspective. If it’s difficult to set aside time for a full exercise session, it is just as effective to break your workout time up into smaller activities throughout the day. This could be as easy as parking your car in a spot that is farther from a shop entrance, choosing the stairs rather than the elevator, or peddling on a stationary bike while talking to a loved one.
The best way to lower stress and achieve a healthier life balance, however, is by partnering with a reliable in-home care provider, like Home With You Senior Care. It is not always easy asking for help; but caregiving is never meant to be a one-person job.
Ongoing, regular respite care enables family caregivers to take routine time away for themselves, which in turn makes them more patient and effective caregivers – a significant benefit for seniors. And, it provides seniors with an added socialization opportunity, with a fully qualified, kind and considerate caregiving companion.
We’re just a phone call away, and here to help you and the senior in your care any time with award-winning Manchester home care and senior care throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us at 410-756-0959 to find out more.