Caring for an aging parent—giving back to the person who cared for you your entire life—can be a rewarding experience. However, providing care without assistance, especially when juggling other responsibilities with family and work, can also be stressful on both a physical and emotional level. While you likely already know the benefits of getting adequate sleep and eating healthy meals, here are a few tips for dialing down stress you may not be familiar with.
1. Cry if You Need To
Caregivers can sometimes suppress their emotions to an unhealthy degree. Therefore, it’s always important to try to express your emotions, even if it means crying for a few minutes. The release will reduce the sense of trauma. In fact, a recent study shows crying can be even more effective than taking antidepressants.
2. Embrace the Ones You Love
Hug a friend, your child, your spouse, or another family member. Studies show a 10-second hug can boost your immune system, fight infection, ease depression, and reduce fatigue. Researchers say if you embrace for an additional 10 seconds, you may enjoy decreased blood pressure and heart rate.
3. Try to Exercise Regularly
Exercise increases energy, enhances mood, and boosts brain function. It causes the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones, and it also alleviates anxiety, sparks creativity, and promotes relaxation. The key to enjoying exercise is to choose a form that’s fun for you. Even as your schedule gets hectic, taking the time to march in place during television commercials, dance with your children in the hallway, or head out to a fitness class with a friend can reduce your overall stress and boost your mood.
Family caregivers can manage some of the emotional challenges of caregiving by hiring professional in-home care experts. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Calgary home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
4. Schedule Regular Naps
Naps can renew your energy and supplement sleep. Just 20–30 minutes of napping can recharge your battery and allow you to return to your caregiving duties with a more refreshed outlook. And if you need a longer break, consider professional home care. Caregivers can provide your loved one with the high-quality care he or she needs and deserves, and you can take a break to attend to your own needs.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
5. Learn Relaxation Techniques
Sprinkle relaxation techniques throughout your day to give yourself respite periods. Examples are meditating, visualizing, reading, and taking a relaxing bath or shower. Yoga and tai chi, which combine gentle movements and synchronized breathing, are some other great ways to unwind.
6. Don’t Forget to Laugh
Laughing not only brings a smile to your face and boosts your mood, but it can also lower your blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, increase cardiac health, and give your immune system a boost. Take time out of your day to laugh with friends and family or watch a funny movie or television show, and your body will thank you.
Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Calgary, AB, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 403-301-3777.