Sometimes when we’re exhausted, we gravitate toward activities that drain us even more. Or we think we don’t deserve to take a break, so we ignore our body’s signs for rest. But only in helping ourselves can we help others and do good work.
Try these strategies for shifting from care giving to home mode.I know most of you must be thinking that you don’t necessarily have time to unwind and relax but don’t worry, many of these activities only take a few minutes. They can truly help you relax, refresh and recharge.
Finding Humor in Your Work
1. Take a Step Back
The next time you feel you’re about to reach that “I’m gonna lose it point”, take a step back! Your loved one just threw their dinner all over the wall or they misplaced the car keys and you’re in a rush—take a step back! Ask yourself, “If my friend were telling me this story, would we be laughing about it?”
2. Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane
Take a moment to break out those old photo albums that you haven’t looked at in years. Maybe you have a baby scrapbook or a wedding album to thumb through. The simple act of reminiscing should make you smile, laugh and count your blessings.
Re-think Your Drink
3. Try Tea
What you put in your body can affect your stress in both good and bad ways. A nice hot cup of tea boasts health benefits and adds antioxidants to your diet. Besides, drinking something hot literally makes you slow down. You have to slowly sip the hot tea in order not to burn yourself so take that 10 minutes to unwind and decompress.
4. Drink More Water
Everyone knows that water is all-around good for you, but there is one benefit you probably haven’t considered- getting up to use the restroom. When you do this you are pulling yourself away from the caregiving situation. The restroom allows you to have a few minutes of privacy and quiet. Use this time to breathe, clear your head and re-focus.
Find a Hobby
Try to have a few different ideas on things that you can do when you do decide to take some time for yourself. Some of the things you might enjoy include:
– Playing a round of golf
– Picking up a card game or attending a poker night
– Taking a long walk or a drive along the beach
– Going to a movie
– Having lunch or dinner with friends
– Going to the library or bookstore
– Going to a park or sitting by a lake
And last but not least, male caregivers often find that attending a male only support group gives them the chance to not only share and learn how other male caregivers are coping with caring for someone with a memory impairment, but that they make new friends along the way.
Please remember that The Reef, a specialized suite of programs and services that are just for male caregivers, are available through the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center. You can learn more by calling us at 561-588-4545.
Watch the Therapeutic Thursday- Ways to Unwind from Caregiving video here!