Stress Relief for Caregiver

June 1, 2022
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Taking on the role of a family caregiver for a loved one can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling decisions that anyone can make. But no matter how close your relationship is, or how good you feel about providing needed care, you are likely to find that being a caregiver can also be very stressful.

Whether handling the cognitive changes that come with conditions such as pediatric nursing, managing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, managing the needs of a life-threatening or terminal physical illness, balancing caregiving with being a parent yourself, or any other challenge, you may find moments when you feel completely overwhelmed.

Not only can being a caregiver cause mental and emotional stress, but it can also potentially lead to physical problems. Chronic stress can increase your risk of headaches, fatigue, aches and pains, and digestive problems. Stress is also an immunosuppressant that can increase your vulnerability to illnesses and infections, as well as other health complications and issues.

Integrating stress relief and management into your caregiver routine will help you to protect yourself so you can do everything possible for your loved one throughout the care journey.

5 Stress Relief Tips for Caregivers

Integrating these easy ideas into your daily routine can help you achieve meaningful caregiver stress relief.

1. Seek Out Social Support

Talking to a loved one, friend, or support group can be a fantastic way to help you relax and feel less stressed. Just hearing the voice of someone important to you can calm you down, make you feel happier, and help you to feel more in control. Schedule a time every day to talk to your partner or your children for a few minutes between care efforts. Or, plan to have a phone call with your siblings or best friend a few times a week or once a week. You can also seek out support groups for caregivers in your area, where you can talk openly with people who are often facing similar challenges.

2. Try Meditation

There is evidence that practicing meditation, such as mindfulness meditation, can be a powerful stress reliever that promotes calmness and helps you balance your emotions. You can experience the benefits of meditation from just 20 to 30 minutes a day, but you may find yourself trying longer sessions or multiple sessions throughout your day. Many meditation experts recommend taking some time first thing in the morning to focus on your breathing, your body, and your surroundings. Simply find a quiet space where you can sit or lie down for a short period of time. There are a wealth of guided meditation audio programs and books available to help you get started.

3. Listen to Music

Music can be a powerful means of soothing your emotions and nurturing your mind. Listening to music when you are feeling stressed can help you to relax, release emotion, and calm down. Listening to energetic, upbeat music can boost your energy and help you to feel more capable of taking on your challenges. Create mood-focused playlists of your favorite songs on your phone so you can access them during the day. It can make a big difference when you are having a stressful moment. It can also help to have them in your vehicle when you are traveling.

4. Do Some Physical Activity

From taking a short walk to yoga to swimming or cycling, getting regular exercise can be a surprising yet effective stress reliever. Studies show that even light physical activity can get your blood flowing and release endorphins and hormones that can help you regulate stress in the brain. There is also the mental satisfaction of taking control and accomplishing a planned workout or exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything too lengthy or strenuous, and even a 15-minute walk a few times a week can have amazing and tangible benefits for your mental health.

5. Develop Healthy Sleep Habits

One of the major effects of stress is the inability to relax and sleep. Taking steps every night to get your body and mind ready for bed can make a difference. Sleep experts recommend turning off the television and lowering the lights about an hour before bed. Listening to relaxing music or reading a book is a great way to calm down. When it’s time to go to sleep, focus on deep breaths and make sure you are in a fully dark room. Using a sound machine can also be extremely helpful in calming your body down and helping you to rest. Look for a sound machine that features options that you find soothing, such as waves, rain, or even just white noise.

Benefits of Home Health Services for Caregivers

If you have found yourself in the role of caregiver for a loved one, you don’t have to do it alone. There is a wide range of reasons for a family member to need home health care. Home health care can provide basic to medically-complex pediatric care to your child, helping them to stay comfortable and safe — at home with their family. No matter your needs, a qualified home health service can provide around-the-clock support or coverage when you need it. Our Home Health Care programs are fully adaptable to your family’s specific needs and provide pediatric home health for children.

Join the Care Options For Kids Team!

Are you ready for meaningful work that comes with benefits and not burnout? Join the compassionate care team that helps children and families live their best lives. Our clinicians provide best-in-class pediatric nursing, therapy, and school-based services. We bring individualized care to children where they live, work, and play. We have opportunities in homes, schools, and clinics across the country.

Apply at Care Options for Kids now. We make it easy to get started, so you can begin making a difference as soon as possible.