I just finished reading an article on Twitter by Renata Gelman, who is the Assistant Director of Clinical Services, Partners in Care and an affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). Renata offered excellent #caregiver relaxation tips to help caregivers relax and decompress from all their responsibilities.
Nurses as caregivers easily relate to home health aide and family members caring for a loved one as a never ending 24/7 job. Caregivers are at a high risk for fatigue, depression, stress and even physical ailments because they take too little time to take care of themselves.
Below is the short version of the five tips suggested in Renata’s article.
- Breathe – Take a few minutes each day to just breathe deeply. Just close your eyes and focus on your breathing. It will give you inner peace.
- Eat foods that help you relax. Vitamin C helps reduce stress and returns blood pressure to normal. Other stress-reducing foods are avocados, nuts, salmon and oatmeal.
- Exercise. Light sessions of physical activity every day can have great effects and help with your workout goals. Stretching is good as well as resistance training with weights or exercise bands. I personally like the stretching and exercise bands.
- Listen to music. I know from experience that just listening to music driving home from work helped me relax. I would listen to classical music and it helped me relax from a stressful day, but just five minutes of music that you like can help you de-stress. Try listening to music while cooking or cleaning house and enjoy your favorite tunes.
- Focus on the task you are currently doing. You will have many jobs throughout the day. Juggling them can be overwhelming. Try writing them down and focus on one task at a time. When the task is done, you can cross it off the list. This will help lower your stress and give you a feeling of accomplishment.
If you want more information on this topic, Renata had themes songs for caregivers and suggestions for time management skills in her article. Look her up on Twitter under Visit Partners in Care