Caregiving is a big job that can take a physical as well as an emotional toll on the health of the caregiver, which is why coming up with a list caregiver stress busters to deal with the burnout that caregivers face is such an important task.
To that end, below I have a series of tips and ideas that will allow your stress levels and as a result aid you in the rest of your life.
Caregiver Stress Busters
Make The Frig Your Friend
Telling a caregiver that they have to eat right is normally an exercise in futility. That’s because they wither don’t have the time to took to eat right or succumb to the cravings of emotional eating to cope with the stress of caregiving.
Therefore, one of the potential solutions is “batch cooking”, making large portions of food that can then be stored into individual, tupperware-style trays so that they can be frozen and quickly accessed for healthy, nutritious meals on the go that you can microwave.
Soups and stews work particularly well for this.
Video Overview of Caregiver Burnout
There are wondrous benefits to meditation which vary from relieving caregiver stress to slowing down the aging process at the cellular level of our bodies. And for stressed out caregivers, taking a few minutes to become one with yourself can have even added benefits.
Meditation has also been shown to assist in dealing with depression, making it an ideal activity for caregivers.
The key here is finding something that you can quickly grab on-the-run. Be careful of items that have too much processed sugar in them but instead focus on “real food” with high levels of proteins or healthy fats…these will ward off hunger without the added calories.
Things like almonds, fruit or a PB&J are ideal for a quick “pick me up” and to keep you moving on a busy schedule.
Exercise can be the ultimate stress-buster, but like so many caregivers the problem comes down to time. That’s why, in my opinion, the easiest way to get a quality workout in in a minimal amount of time is with a set of resistance bands.
You can think of resistance bands as huge rubber bands with handles on them that mimic the resistance of dumbbells…but because they weigh only a few ounces you can bring resistance bands with you wherever you go. And that is a great benefit to busy caregivers.
This advice is about self-preservation. When you are stressed and in a rush, you are more prone to accidents. So no matter what you are doing or how you do it, take your time and do it right…you won’t make a mistake and have to do it over again and you lower the risk of an accident.
Improve Your Sleep
Those under stress need the most sleep…and more importantly the highest quality sleep. Unfortunately what normally happens is the opposite. You get less sleep and that sleep tends to be more restless.
So you need to adopt as many quality sleep habits as possible…
- Don’t drink 2-3 hours before bed
- Make your bedroom as dark as posslble
- Make it as quiet as possible, or…
- Get a white noise generator which simulates a constant sound, such as a fan running or falling rain. This can help those with sleep problems as well.
Get Some Help
One of the easiest caregiver stress busters is for you to know that you are not alone. Finding respite care, whether from an organization, volunteer or a family member, will alleviate the burden and enable you to relieve your stress.