Stress-Busters: Ten Tips to Keep Your Balance

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.

  1. Make sure you get your sleep; when you are tired, everything in the world seems bigger.
  2. Take a long soak in a hot tub. Mental relaxation follows physical relaxation.
  3. Rejoice in the joy of music.
  4. Dance! Even if it is by yourself.  It is almost impossible to be sad or mad when you are trying to rumba.
  5. 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.
  6. Lose yourself for a few hours in a book, a movie—or even a trashy TV show. That’s what trash TV is for.
  7. Brew a cup of hot tea with fresh ginger and mint—great for soothing stomachs and nerves.
  8. 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.
  9. Remember that everyone has their own version of normal—and cut yourself some slack. You are almost certainly doing the best you can.
  10. 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.