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Caregiver Resources | June 9, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

Creative Ways to Lower Caregiver Stress

walkingStudy after study reveals the negative effects long-term stress can have on the body and mind. As a caregiver for a loved one, you have one of the most stressful jobs in the world: you care for someone who can no longer care for himself or herself on their own.

The symptoms of stress are easily identified as issues arise with your sleep pattern, you have headaches, and your appetite is affected: either you begin losing weight or you end up overeating as an emotional eater. Then there is the anxiety, irritability, mood swings and ongoing tension – nobody ever said being stressed out was going to be fun.

Stress Reduction the Creative Way

There are tons of all natural and creative things you can do to bring down your stress levels. These range from meditation to yoga, Tai Chi to stretching, and even Pilates is a recommend stress buster. Here are a few more things you can do to conquer stress and get back on the road to good health:

Way #1 – Look for Help from Others

There is nothing wrong with leaning on others when you are struggling, whether it is during the holiday season when times are particularly stressful. Getting the help from friends and loved ones can help the caregiver maintain some sense of calm and balance. Getting support from social sources is equally important when it comes to scheduling some down time for relaxation.

Even if you just turn to someone else to talk about what is on your mind, from a counselor to a good friend, you would be surprised what an emotional load a simple conversation can lift off your shoulders.

Way #2 – Regular Physical Activity

Whether you are using the local gym, walking, running, cycling, or going out dancing three nights a week, you need to keep physical activity and exercise in your regimen. It helps the body and eases the mind. Exercise even has protective effects on the human brain when it comes to a person’s stress responses. When you engage in exercise, you are releasing endorphins that help in improving your mood.

Way #3 – Meditation

The health benefits of participating in meditation are well documented. In terms of stress reduction, it is one of the best holistic, all-natural methods of handling stress. Meditation will reduce agitation, anxiety, and will lift your mood.

Way #4 – Prevention

Caregivers are so great at caring for others but are often are horrible at caring for themselves in terms of their own health. Many caregivers do not visit a doctor on a regular basis because they are always putting themselves last. Put yourself first, care for yourself and you can then care for others with better success. “An empty cup can fill no other vessel.”

Because it can become rather overwhelming to take care of your loved ones when they are unable to do so themselves, many do prefer the assisted living options that you can find at www.carltonseniorliving.com. Here you know that your loved one is going to receive the best possible care.