Daily tips for caregiver stress relief is important to the caregiver’s health. Chronic stress has a negative impact on your health. If ignored, it can kill you. This is not a comment made lightly. The statistics are very grim for the family caregiver that cares for someone with a long term illness such as dementia.
The first step to controlling your stress, is to realize that you are not human and can experience stress. There are many types of caregivers. Some find caregiving rewarding, but stressful. Others feel thrown into a role that they resent . No matter how you feel about your role as a caregiver, be aware of the signs of stress. Here is a link to stress tests you should take to monitor your stress level.
Taking care of yourself is the key to dealing with the long journey ahead as a care partner/care giver. Here are a few tips:
- Keep a sense of humor. Find something to laugh about everyday
- Talk with a friend or someone outside your caregiving circle everyday. There is life after caregiving, you want to have one to go back to.
- Exercise daily. Taking a good brisk walk helps reduce tension and gives you chance to be outside to breathe some fresh air.
- Take a ten-minute timeout everyday to not think about anything – just let your mind go blank. Double your time in the shower, take a bubble bath, listen to music and let the world go by for those few precious moments.
- Find 3 things to be grateful for everyday. Say them out
- Remind yourself what an amazing person you really are everyday
- Practice mindfulness. Studies show those care givers that “lived”in the moment and responded to their care recipient with an unemotional thoughtful response, actually slows the cognitive decline of a person with dementia. It also has shown that practicing mindfulness is great for dementia prevention.