When you are caring for a loved one who is not well, it can consume you, especially for those who are full-time carers. Even if you are not caring full-time but have the responsibility for them, as in my case, it can consume your thinking. It is important to take some time out to de-stress, to do some ‘self-care’. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to be effective.
A good friend of ours often finishes his phone call with “remember to breathe”. Of course we all breathe, but when is the last time you took some deep breaths? It actually makes a lot of difference to the stress in your body. Try it. If you google you will find numerous techniques. A simple exercise is to breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 5 counts and breathe out for 6 counts.
Here are some other ideas that I found helpful when I was on the demanding journey of having responsibility for my parents with dementia.
- Deep breathing
- A walk in nature
- Reminding myself I am more useful to everybody if I am refreshed, not strung out
- Listening to music and singing along
- Watching a movie
- Taking off the pressure I put on myself
- Taking a bath
- Walking on the beach
- Prayerful meditation
What are some of the ways you find helpful to de-stress?