How to stress less
6 easy ways to reduce stress
If you want to take care of your loved one properly, it’s important to look after yourself. Watch for early signs of stress and eliminate them quickly to be a better caregiver. Below are six different things you can do to lower your stress. Try to include them in your daily routine and watch the results.
As you may know, caregiving takes energy. There are things you can do though to give yourself more of it. Here are some ideas to try when you’re out and about:
- When taking the bus, try getting off one stop earlier than usual and walking the rest of the distance
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Ride a bicycle instead of taking the car
- If you have a bit more time for yourself, get together with a friend for a little exercise
Remember: a healthy lifestyle helps to improve your overall sense of comfort, and it gives you more energy for taking care of your loved one.
Music. It’s great for improving your mood. In your car or at work, listening to music that you like can make you feel happier and more relaxed. It’s scientifically proven. While helping your loved one, try to listen to music that you both like. You’ll find it helps create a good feeling between the two of you.
Once in a while, you might feel you’d just like to lie in bed or read magazines, or going out to the movie theater. That's OK, feel free to do it. When you have some spare time, allow yourself to simply enjoy life, leaving your day-to-day routines behind. It’s very important to have a life outside of caregiving - in fact it will make you a better caregiver.
Don't try to be a superhero taking on full weekly routines all by yourself. Work together with family members or friends. Ask them to support you. Have them cover for you, to keep your loved one company, while you take time off, or get them to do your shopping, or just have a heart-to-heart talk with them on a bad day. Your family members will be more willing to help out in the future when they see how hard you work as a caregiver.
It’s important to stay healthy when you’re caring for someone. Fortunately, keeping a healthy lifestyle needn’t be difficult. It might surprise you to know that a good diet can actually help you reduce stress. Avoid high-fat foods like meat and cheese, and eat plenty of vegetables and fruit instead. While caffeine drinks like coffee, tea, and colas will give you a lift, remember that they’ll also interfere with your sleep, and although you may get initial comfort from sugary foods, they eventually make you “crash” and feel tired. Ask your doctor for tips on a nutritious diet. Because a healthy caregiver is a stronger caregiver.