We have all been a victim of stress before. Whether the stress is as minor as the feeling you get when your favorite football team is down by three points with seconds remaining in the game or as severe as trying to figure out how to care for mom or dad while also caring for your own family, budgeting their bills, and managing all aspects of their life – stress can take a toll on your life if you do not know how to manage it properly. Simply letting out a deep sigh or getting a relaxing massage does not always do the trick.
We know that you are passionate about your job, truly care about your senior loved one, and do not like to grumble about the daily labor involved with being a family caregiver, but sometimes being a caregiver can become stressful, if not overwhelming. The daily routine of cooking, cleaning, bathing, transporting, and any other services that you provide for your family member can be a lot to handle. For some caregivers, the day does not end when they leave their loved one’s house; they have to then go home and worry about how their children are going to get to soccer practice, how they will fit in time to visit their own doctor, pay bills, cook dinner… the list goes on and on. For these individuals, providing care for others nearly takes up their entire day, leaving very little personal time.
The relentless care that you are providing for others is truly a blessing, but you cannot get so caught up in caring for others that you forget to care about yourself. It is important that you carefully plan your week out so that each day you have a minimum of an hour to yourself to relax and relieve yourself of your worries – you’ve worked hard and deserve it!
Some suggestions by our Comfort Keepers® on how to relax after a long day:
• Go to your favorite restaurant and enjoy your favorite meal.
• Exercise can be a great way to relieve stress! Head down to your local gym or take a walk around the neighborhood.
• Throw on a comfy pair of PJ’s and watch your favorite movie.
• Breathing exercises and YOGA have also been proven to relieve stress.
• Don’t be afraid to lose yourself in a good book!
Caregiving is a very rewarding job and takes a very special person to dedicate so much time out of their lives to help others. Whatever it is that you do, be sure to set aside at least one hour each day to relax and enjoy yourself. By giving yourself at least an hour of ‘me’ time each day, you have a much better chance of avoiding unnecessary stress in your life and will have more energy to be all that you can be for your loved ones.