Caregivers often experience a range of emotions when caring for a loved one, from feeling overwhelmed and worried to feeling sad and powerless. These feelings can manifest in physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, weight gain or loss, headaches, and body aches. It's also common to feel angry or irritated, and to lose interest in activities that used to bring joy. In some cases, caregivers may even experience depression or suicidal thoughts.
Fortunately, there are many ways to manage stress and improve mental health. The Rising Spoons has an excellent article that shares more than 30 helpful tips for relieving stress. We've selected the 15 best tips that are most useful and realistic for busy caregivers. One of the quickest ways to calm down and relieve anxiety is to breathe deeply and consciously.
We recommend a free mobile app called Breathe2Relax that uses visual cues to help you breathe at a slow, steady pace. Additionally, practicing gratitude can help reduce stress levels. We have tips on how to create a gratitude calendar, 5 easy ways to practice gratitude, and a 10-day gratitude challenge. Stretching is another great way to reduce stress.
Do some stretching at your desk, try a 5-minute yoga stretching routine, or treat yourself to a relaxing 20-minute beginner yoga session. Finally, don't forget that you don't have to do it all alone. Reach out for help when you need it - it can make all the difference in managing stress levels.