Caring for an elderly loved one can be an overwhelming task, which is why caregivers need outlets to relieve their stress. For some, this could be a weekly exercise class or a fulfilling hobby. For others, it could be attending a monthly support group for caregivers. However, not all caregivers are the same, and some need to go off the beaten path to get rid of their stress. Here are six unique ways caregivers can manage their stress levels.
1. Consume Vitamin C
Many guides to stress relief mention exercise, outdoor activities, and meditation. However, what you put in your body is just as important as what you do with it, and vitamin C is a great way to get rid of anxiety. This all-important vitamin lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can boost emotional wellbeing. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, including grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and kiwi.
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2. Take Up a Creative Hobby
Psychologists have long been using the arts to reduce anxiety levels and help people achieve inner peace. Painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and other creative hobbies are excellent ways to relieve stress because they distract the mind from sources of anxiety. They’re also convenient for caregivers because they can be done from the comfort of home. Adult coloring books are also a popular choice for caregivers who are looking for a creative way to let off some steam.
3. Pet a Dog
Caregivers might think pet ownership would overcomplicate their daily schedule. While this might be true of large, energetic dogs, many pets are easy to care for and a great source of comfort for their owners. Studies suggest the act of petting a dog releases “happy” chemicals like serotonin and decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Caregivers who can’t have a pet might want to consider volunteering at a local animal shelter. They’ll get all the benefits of playing with dogs and cats without any of the responsibility.
4. Laugh More Often
It can be difficult to laugh when your stress levels are high. However, laughter has a tangible effect on the body. It releases endorphins, decreases cortisol, and leaves people with a more positive outlook on life. When times are challenging, caregivers should try watching episodes of their favorite sitcom, a funny stand-up special, or a comedic movie. A few laughs later, they’re bound to feel a little better.
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5. Eat Crunchy Snacks
Snacking too often can become a bad habit. However, eating crunchy foods can relieve stress because the combination of rhythmic chewing and vigorous crunching relieves physical tension from the face and distracts the mind. Choose healthy snacks like apples, almonds, and carrots to ensure you get an energy boost with your stress outlet.
6. Try Aromatherapy
The right scent can overpower an anxious brain, leaving you feeling calm. Lavender, bergamot, and chamomile are known for their anxiety-reducing properties.
Family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties to focus on their own emotional wellbeing can benefit from professional at-home care. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Indianapolis respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at [hca_phone] today.