Has your 2021 been calm, or did you find the last 12 months more stressful than usual? Stress has a way of accumulating, especially when you’re lending your heart and inner strength to a loved one who needs you as their caregiver.
When you’re a family caregiver taking care of others, it’s important to take care of yourself by regularly replenishing your inner strength to deal with stress, even if just for a minute or two. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard work—in fact, it can be fun.
1: Make time for music
Your favorite music doesn’t just elevate your mood: it can also lower your blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, improve memory and boost your coping skills. It’s why music therapy is a real thing.
Why not make yourself a daily appointment with your headphones and an uplifting track?
2: Find your favorite micro-break
When it’s hard to take a proper break, purposeful micro-breaks can give your inner strength a quick boost.
It can be as easy as drinking a glass of water to relax, or a gentle, five-minute mini workout. The key is to find a restorative micro-break that suits you and to practice it every day.
3: Invest in your friendships
The more friends you have in your life, the easier it is to find the support you need.
If your social life took a back seat last year, invest the time to reconnect with the friends you can lean on, and the friends who make you laugh, too. Laughter cools down your stress, improves your mood, and can even give your immune system a boost.
4: Practice your positive inner voice
Does your inner voice reassure you, or do the opposite? The way you communicate with yourself can affect your stress level without you noticing.
However, it’s possible to spot when you’re talking to yourself negatively, and turn things around with reassuring feedback instead. Here’s how to practice talking to yourself more kindly.
Why not add one of these ideas to your New Year’s resolutions for 2022?
Do you need a more substantial break? Respite care helps you recharge and take care of your own needs so that you can be an even better family caregiver. Find out more about respite care here.