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How Can Caregivers Put Their Needs First?

By , 12:01 am on

As a caregiver for an aging family member, you know that you need to guard your own health against the effects of stress and fatigue so that you can continue to offer the best level of care. It’s not always easy to put your needs first, however, when you’re trying to meet the daily demands of caring for your loved one. When you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, it’s helpful to know that there are positive steps that you can take to alleviate your stress, both now and in the future.

Finding Peace in the Moment

The fight-or-flight hormones released during moments of stress, anxiety or fear create tension within the body. The following relaxation techniques can help reduce your stress levels in the moment without compromising the level of care that you deliver to your family member:

  • Conscious breathing

    Consciously slow your breathing by increasing the breadth and depth of each inhale. With each exhale, allow tension to leave your body.

  • Change your focus

    Relax the tension around your eyes by changing your focus back and forth between something close to you and something far away.

  • Stretch and straighten

    Stretch your body as you would when yawning, and then allow your body to relax into a balanced posture.

  • Use mental imagery

    Imagine yourself doing something physically relaxing, such as petting a beloved pet, sunbathing or enjoying a picturesque view.

Finding Time for Yourself

Everyone needs some time off from their responsibilities now and then, but it’s even more important for caregivers who are often on-call 24/7. Whether it’s for a few hours to enjoy some shopping therapy or a week-long vacation to an exotic destination, make the decision today to schedule time for yourself. If friends or other family members aren’t available to help, consider getting help from a home care agency in Lincoln. Respite caregivers can provide the care that your loved one needs in the comfort and familiarity of a home environment.

Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of home care, offering flexible hourly a live-in care in Lincoln. To learn more about our comprehensive care services, please contact a Care Manager at 402-261-5158. We offer complimentary, no obligation consultations where we are more than happy to discuss any questions and concerns.