Fundamental truth: You have to have energy to give energy. And family caregivers, particularly, must be careful not to bankrupt themselves. Here, just in time for the holidays, my gift to you: ten tips on how to minimize some of the stress in your life.
- Make sure you get your sleep; when you are tired, everything in the world seems bigger.
- Take a long soak in a hot tub. Mental relaxation follows physical relaxation.
- Rejoice in the joy of music.
- Dance! Even if it is by yourself. It is almost impossible to be sad or mad when you are trying to rumba.
- Take a walk—either super fast to get the endorphins flowing or a leisurely stroll to enjoy the scenery. Often best when enjoyed with a friend.
- Lose yourself for a few hours in a book, a movie—or even a trashy TV show. That’s what trash TV is for.
- Brew a cup of hot tea with fresh ginger and mint—great for soothing stomachs and nerves.
- Enjoy a daily session on a trampoline; it takes you from stomping out frustration to jumping for joy in about a minute. Plus it is an excellent cardio workout.
- Remember that everyone has their own version of normal—and cut yourself some slack. You are almost certainly doing the best you can.
- Don’t isolate yourself — caregiving is hard and lonely enough—and accept help.
Find some more great ideas specifically linked to getting through the happy holiday season at Today's Caregiver—and let the stress go.