You can’t always be there. But we can.
Caring for a family member is naturally stressful. You’re feeling pressure to do everything that’s needed to ensure the health and safety of another person. This stress can build up and make you feel overwhelmed.
Don’t let the stress of being a family caregiver impact your mental or physical health. Learn to make relaxation techniques a normal part of your daily routine. You can get your parent to join you. Your mom and dad will benefit from some time spent releasing tension.
Sit back and close your eyes. Try not to let your mind wander to anything other than counting. With your hand on your stomach, take a deep breath in through the nose. You’re aiming for the air to fill all of your lungs. To do this, you want to make the hand on your stomach move up. Hold that breath for a count of five and slowly breathe out through your mouth.
You’re starting to feel stressed. If you could go anywhere, where would it be? Close your eyes and mentally travel there. You might imagine you’re laying on the beach listening to the tide hit the sand and rocks. Imagine the salty air, the warmth of the sun, and the gritty feel of the sand between your toes.
Travel to wherever soothes you. Let your mind focus on the images, sounds, smells, and sensations you’d experience if you were there.
Sit in a quiet room and meditate for 20 minutes. You could play a chant or soft music while you meditate if that’s best for you. Once you’re still and relaxed, focus on a word, image, or action that helps you feel relaxed. You can find chants online or buy them from stores.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Lay on a bed or recline with your feet up on a sofa or in a recliner. Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes on focus all of your attention on clenching the muscles on your face. Hold it for a count of five and release. Take a few more deep breaths and repeat the exercise.
After two rounds with the muscles in your face, slowly work through the areas of your body. Use the same tighten and release pattern with your neck and shoulders, your abs, your thighs, your lower legs, your feet, your arms, and your hands.
Make sure you’re leaving time throughout the week to relax. If you find time is limited, homecare can help. Hire homecare aides to take over while you go for a walk, go out with friends, or take a bath. Call our homecare agency to learn more about respite care.