Providing care for a senior you love is such a selfless endeavor. It’s incredibly rewarding to know you’re helping make life the best it can be, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Caregiver stress can arise for a variety of reasons:
- The senior struggles with chronic health concerns
- There are cognitive deficiencies, such as occur in dementia
- A caregiver is dealing with the frustration of being unable to “make things better”
- The caregiver is stretched too thin and unable to take time for self-care
- And more
It’s crucial for family caregivers to prioritize regular, ongoing time away to reduce stress and make sure their own needs are met; but finding time to do so isn’t always easy.
At Nightingale Homecare, our aging care team is familiar with the stress family caregivers are facing. We’re here to help not just the seniors in our care, but the families who care for them. We want you to remain in the best possible health too! These recommendations can help you replace stress with peace, and achieve a healthier life balance:
- Practice deep breathing. Deep breathing is an excellent tactic to instantly instill a sense of calm. Simply sit down in a comfortable position, breathe in through your nose while silently counting to five, and then breathe out through your nose, again for a count of five. Repeat until you feel more at peace. You can also work towards increasing the length of time of your breathing for up to a count of ten.
- Practice intentional thinking. It’s easy to focus on the problems you are facing and to forget about the many positives that are occurring around us each day. Take time for a mental inventory of what you’re thankful for. This can help shift your perspective, even if what comes to mind seems small, such as a moment when your loved one smiled at you, the scent of the cake you’re baking, or the spring flowers beginning to peek up in the front yard.
- Practice self-appreciation. The work you’re doing is so important. You are making a real and lasting difference in the life of someone else. Instead of reminding yourself of the mistakes you’re making along the way, acknowledge the things you’re doing right! Just as you would share your appreciation with a friend who did something kind, appreciate your own kindnesses as well.
- Practice getting physical. Exercise produces endorphins that naturally provide a boost to your mental outlook and wellbeing. It may be hard to find time for an extensive workout, but breaking your exercise time up into smaller chunks throughout the day is still beneficial. Try choosing parking spaces that are farther from store entrances, take the stairs rather than the elevator, and hop onto a stationary bike to peddle away while talking with the senior in your care.
- Practice partnering. Remind yourself that caregiving isn’t meant to be a solo responsibility. Partnering with a trusted home care provider, like Nightingale Homecare, is good for both you and your loved one. Our respite care services enable caregivers to have regular time away, and seniors enjoy socialization with a friendly, trained, and compassionate companion.
Contact Nightingale Homecare, the leading providers of help at home in Peoria and surrounding areas, for a free in-home consultation. We’re always here to offer the resources you need to alleviate caregiver stress and to enhance quality of life for older adults in the comfort of home.