3 Exercises to Soothe Caregiver Stress

Caregiving is an inarguably stressful career. Spending most of your time and energy dedicated to someone else’s wellbeing is noble, but it’s not always easy. Stress tends to build, unnoticed, so remember to unwind and take a few moments for yourself. Even if your next day off seems miles away, there are plenty of recommended exercises to soothe caregiver stress. So, shake off the stress and give yourself the gift of these simple, mindful exercises.

3 Stress Relief Exercises for Caregivers

1. Meditation

Meditation doesn’t require a burbling brook, incense, or a soft pillow. Those things are nice, but they’re props to help you get to a better mental state. Meditation is simply a way to ground yourself, becoming more aware of your mood, your thoughts, and even your body. As little as ten minutes of meditating can help you focus and refresh. Start your day with a meditation session to set your frame of mind, and end the day with another session to sweep out the day’s worries.

2. Yoga

Yoga often conjures images of dimly lit studios and wind chimes, but again, those specifics are just props. With little more than a series of stretches, poses, and breathing techniques, yoga can change your state of mind. Whether you want to take a half hour class before or after work or take a five-minute stretch break to re-center yourself, yoga can work wonders on how you cope with stress.

3. Walking

While caregivers spend a lot of time on their feet, a pleasant stroll can do a lot to overcome stress. The combination of fresh air, the motion of your body, and the ability to let your mind wander can make a mid-day walk just the thing for undoing your stress knots. (Especially if you need a change of scenery.)

David York Agency can help ….

For more tips and exercises to soothe caregiver stress, be sure to explore David York Agency’s blog.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 877.216.7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

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5 Signs You Might be Suffering from Caregiver Stress

For many caregivers, it is in their very nature to care selflessly for another, putting their own needs, feelings, and problems aside to ensure the safety and healing of their loved one or friend. But, too often, caregivers reach damaging and unhealthy levels of stress before they come to the point of reaching out for help and support. It is so important that caregivers are mindful of the signs that point to caregiver stress and that they seek the help of a friend, support groups, or a physician, before their struggles become severe.caregivers

We’ve compiled a few of the key signs that point to caregiver stress and offer ways to seek the support and assistance you need.

  1. Anger

It is important to recognize if you are feeling anger toward your ill loved one or others who don’t seem to understand what you’re going through.  Resentment toward those whom you are caring for, can lead to damaged relationships, self-neglect, and further stress. You might consider enlisting the help of a home health aide who can release you from some of the burden of caregiving. You may also want to find a support group in your area for individuals experiencing similar situations.

  1. Denial

This is a tricky one. While it’s important to remain optimistic, positive, and hopeful, it is damaging to live in denial of the severity or progression of your loved one’s illness. It’s important to keep a realistic view of the situation at hand, in order to prepare for the next steps and provide appropriate care for yourself and your loved one. Denial might make the short term easier to deal with, but may be detrimental in the long run preventing you from seeking appropriate care and do proper planning.  

  1. Isolation

Do you find yourself making excuses to not attend social gatherings, meet a friend for coffee, or even leave the house for a walk? These are signs of caregiver stress and can lead to depression. Keeping active socially and physically reduces stress and provides an outlet for the rollercoaster of feelings that come with caregiving. Keep in contact with friends, neighbors and relatives. Join a walking group or regularly attend a group class at the gym. Social interaction and physical activity are essential to keeping a healthy mind and body.

  1. Depression

Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, fear and worry should not be taken lightly. Depression is a medical condition and affects a person both physically and mentally. Seek medical attention if feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed persist for longer than two weeks. Seek immediate medical attention if thoughts of hurting oneself or others are present. Medication may be needed to lift the fog.  However, care must be taken to avoid what has become all too common – prescription drug abuse. Talk therapy with a social worker or psychologist can help you work through the unique challenges one feels as a caregiver.

  1. Exhaustion

Fatigue is your body and mind’s way of letting you know that you are not taking care of yourself. Are you living on caffeine, falling further and further behind on routine tasks, forgetting appointments or never feeling fully rested? Take note. Maintaining a healthy diet and quality sleep patterns are paramount for your body and mind to stay sharp, functioning, and healthy. Again, it is important to reflect from time to time on internal cues telling you the load is too heavy. If there seems to be no time for self-care, performing daily tasks, or maintaining social relationships, consider seeking outside help to share the responsibilities of caregiving. It is important for the care of your loved one that you are capable of making sound decisions and can perform care tasks accurately and effectively.

To find support groups, visit the websites of national organizations to find a group that meets near you. There are many organizations serving the elderly and catering to the various diseases common to them.  Also, talk to your doctor about your symptoms and seek specialized care as directed.

To learn about the possibilities of acquiring outside assistance through a home health aide or nurse, please contact us. We can help you understand your options for in-home care and assistance. Most importantly, don’t take these signs lightly. Your health – physically and mentally – is important to your ability to provide the best care possible for your loved one.

For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.