A woman meditates in her living room as a way to reduce caregiver stress.

Address Caregiver Stress Before the Holiday Season!

Lowering your stress level is hugely beneficial for your health. However, for family caregivers, stress is a part of the job. While caregiving on any given day can be stressful, it’s often exacerbated during the holidays. The hustle and bustle of the season, mixed with work, family life, and caregiving can make even the jolliest among us feel overwhelmed. The holidays will be here before you know it, so it’s important to find strategies to lower your caregiver stress now in order to be able to enjoy yourself during this festive time and throughout the rest of the year as well.

How Can You Reduce Caregiver Stress?

Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you at all times. Developing coping skills to help you manage stress is key. To help family members reduce caregiver stress before we get into the busy holiday season, our professional caregivers have compiled the following tips that can help you manage stressful feelings and situations now and throughout the year.

  1. Practice deep breathing. One of the best and easiest exercises to calm your body is to take slow, deep breaths. Deep breathing sends signals that it is time for your body to move from stress mode into relaxation mode. When feelings of stress arise, practice breathing in deeply through your nose and then out through your mouth. Focus solely on your breath for a few minutes to help your mind and body calm down.
  2. Meditate daily. There are multiple studies that show that meditation can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, boost the body’s immunity, and enhance concentration. Meditation is free and easy to practice anywhere. It simply requires you to find a quiet spot to sit, clear your mind, and let your body and mind relax. You can practice meditation on your own, or by using any of the many online apps, like Calm or Headspace, that provide guided meditations.
  3. Develop a regular exercise routine. Exercising is a great way to relieve tension in the body and boost mental health. Start slow with a daily walk or find a friend and hit the gym together.
  4. Get outside. As a caregiver, much of your day may be spent indoors caring for your loved one, but it is important to get outside in the fresh air as much as possible. Research has shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and more.
  5. Make time to talk with loved ones. When stress builds up, talking it out with a trusted friend or loved one can help you vent. Make a regular lunch or coffee date with a friend to chat and enjoy some personal connection.
  6. Practice gratitude. When going through stressful times, it can be easy to only think about all the things in your life that are going wrong. However, practicing gratitude can help you turn around that mindset. Each day, write down a few things, no matter how small, for which you are grateful. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, refer back to this list to remind yourself of the positives in your life.
  7. Find a reason to laugh. Laughter is called the best medicine for a reason. Laughing not only boosts your mood, it can also reduce feelings of stress and pain. Make time for a funny movie night or check out some funny videos online while you have your morning coffee.
  8. Ask for help. When caring for a loved one, it can often feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. How will you get Mom to her doctor’s appointment across town, pick up your kids from soccer practice, make dinner, and answer all your work emails, not to mention take care of yourself? Caregiving isn’t meant to be a solo undertaking. Asking for help, whether from a family member, neighbor, or a professional home care provider like Senior HomeCare of Tucson, can be a huge help and ease some of the stress of caregiving.

We’re Always Here for You!

At Senior HomeCare of Tucson, we are not only passionate about caring for older loved ones, we’re dedicated to caring for family caregivers as well. Our professional caregivers can provide respite care to help you get time away from your caregiving duties so you can better manage your stress and make time to care for yourself.

If you’d like some help with getting your caregiving stress under control now so you can enjoy time with your loved ones over the holidays, give us a call at (520) 355-4787 or reach out to us online. We are proud to serve families in Tucson, Sun City, Catalina Foothills, and the surrounding areas.

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