Millions of family members every year are called upon to serve as caregivers for an aging in place elderly loved one. Although caregiving is highly rewarding, it can also be stressful and frustrating at times. Continuing to think about caregiving responsibilities after you return home is not only detrimental to your own health and wellbeing, it can also place relationships with your spouse and kids at risk. To help ensure that doesn’t happen, here are 5 reliable ways to take your mind off caregiving once you pull in the driveway.
Signs of Caregiver Fatigue
It can oftentimes be highly stressful for a caregiver when the one receiving their care isn’t getting any better no matter how hard you try. As a result, many caregivers increase their efforts until the amount of energy that they’ve expended leaves them mentally and physically drained. That’s a perfect recipe for caregiver fatigue, which usually presents with these signs:
- Having trouble focusing on everyday tasks
- Feeling anxious, depressed or worried
- Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications
- Strained relationships with friends, coworkers and family members
- Feeling constantly tired and worn down
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Trouble sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day
If you’re currently experiencing one or more of these signs, you may be suffering from caregiver fatigue. Fortunately, there are several proven ways to take your mind off caregiving once you get back home.
How to Refocus Your Mind
Even professional caregivers need a break every so often, so make time for yourself every day to decompress and recharge. Try to totally take your mind off the caregiving, while instead focusing on yourself. Here are 5 refreshing ways to do so:
Exercise is a great way to keep your body strong and relieve stress, whether you do it at home, a park or local gym. It also helps your immune system fight off illnesses and you to sleep better. Here are some exercises for caregivers that also benefit the mind:
- Yoga and Tai Chi
Controlled breathing exercises, including Yoga and meditation, are great stress-relievers that also boost your overall sense of wellbeing. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes each day to refocus and cleanse your mind. Relaxation techniques will also help you stop worrying about things outside of your control, and better prepare you to provide the nurturing care that your loved one deserves. There are numerous online videos available that will teach you effective relaxation techniques.
At least every two weeks, plan something special to pamper and reward yourself. If you have a spouse, this could involve spending some quality time at home with them while enjoying a quiet dinner and some relaxing conversation. Here are some other great ways to spend your “me” time:
- Take a long, relaxing bubble bath
- Attend a ballgame or concert
- Treat yourself to a massage or pedicure
- Enjoy a spa day with your friends
- Rent a movie
- Curl up on the couch with a good book
Listen to Music
Studies have found that listening to 30 minutes of your favorite music, especially classical selections, noticeably calms your mind and body. Even 5 or 10 minutes of music can help you decompress at home while cooking, cleaning or just sharing a glass of wine with your spouse.
Find a Respite Caregiver
All regular employees with 9 to 5 jobs deserve a break once-in-a-while, so don’t feel guilty when you need one too. Ask one of your siblings or a close friend to fill in and take care of your loved one for a week or two. Another option is to hire a professional respite caregiver from a licensed home care agency in your area.
Affordable In-Home Respite Care for Seniors in Massachusetts
Caring for an elderly loved one is rewarding, but it can also be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you don’t live near by. When you need a break, trust in a well-trained and carefully screened respite caregiver from Cranberry Home Care. As a family owned and operated agency, we understand the importance of keeping seniors aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. While in the home, our fully licensed aides can perform duties like light housework, personal hygiene, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation and companionship.
And, all our caregiving services can be flexibly tailored in an affordable package that will restore your peace-of-mind. To schedule a FREE in-home consultation in the Middleboro, MA, area, or to learn more about Cranberry Home Care, please visit: www.cranberryhomecare.com now!