Being a caregiver is a demanding job and one that requires a lot from you, both psychologically and emotionally. It can be draining but also very rewarding. In order to prevent burnout, you need to learn how to take care of yourself as you are taking care of your loved one. Juggling all your normal household responsibilities can be challenging on its own, much less trying to balance it with being a caregiver for someone else. Here are some tips to help you de-stress and avoid caregiver burnout.
1. Learn to release endorphins
Your body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals are called endorphins. They are what allows us to have a sense of well-being and relaxation. It is totally possible to trigger these endorphins on your own, therefore lowering your stress level. You can help release them by doing things like eating chocolate, getting a good massage, or even exercising!
2. Read a good book
Reading is a great way to de-stress from the cares of the day by allowing you to escape reality for a time and just have some interesting brain stimulation while you focus on something other than caregiving. There are many studies that have proven that reading can lower your stress levels significantly. The key factor here is to read something that is enjoyable to you and provides a calm atmosphere.
3. Pet therapy
One of the most proven ways to lower stress is to have a pet. Not only do pets ease loneliness, but they ease anxiety and provide unconditional love. Petting a dog can reduce high blood pressure and help with relaxation, thereby releasing those all-powerful endorphins. If you or your loved one do not have a pet but would like to try the benefits of pet therapy, consider service animal groups that specialize in bringing a pet to you during stressful times.
4. Talk about your stress
We all need to let it all out sometimes! Processing your stress by talking through it with a friend or counselor is a huge help in releasing endorphins. Whether you just have a quick chat or even express your thoughts in a journal, don’t underestimate the power that comes from sharing your thoughts. Another way to express your thoughts is through artistic means. Drawing, painting, listening to music or doing adult coloring books are just a few ideas for artistic expression.
5. Listen to music
Music taps into many emotions and can provide a soothing atmosphere to unwind. While some music can be jarring and hyper, make sure you are listening to music that brings you pleasure and peace. It might be classical music or even new age instrumental music. The choices are vast and it’s a wonderful way to discover new artists if you’re a music lover!
6. Stimulate your brain
Games are a great distraction from the stress of everyday life. You may prefer playing solitaire games or engaging in a word game with friends, but playing games allow you to destress in a fun way. Consider getting a large puzzle to work on when you have a few minutes at a time. Others can join in or you can do it alone, but either way is wonderful for releasing those feel-good endorphins!
7. Get social
Don’t forget to engage in social activities that get you out of the house and enjoying friends. It might just be a quick cup of coffee or phone chat, but do make the time to talk to friends face to face so you can talk through the things that concern you and find support. Family members often forget how important this is for the caregiver!
Just remember—you must take care of yourself or you won’t be any good to anybody! For even more helpful tips on de-stressing, please contact us today!
Home Helpers of MetroWest is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, 24-hour live-in care, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Concord, Framingham, Lincoln, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston, Massachusetts.
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