Caregivers are some of the most generous people on the planet. They are also some of the least likely to carve time out from their day to engage in self-care. As important as your loved one is, it’s equally important that you take care of yourself so you can be healthy and strong enough to continue caring for others.
Stress is a normal part of life. However, constant stress leads to health problems. If left untreated, some of these health problems can become life-long issues. Taking a little time out of each day for self-care can greatly reduce the threat of stress-related illness.
One of the biggest reasons to not participate in self-care is the lack of time or money. So we’ve compiled a list of ten free de-stressors to fit into any busy lifestyle.
- Read a book or your favorite magazine for an hour. Shorten it to fifteen to twenty minutes for a nice little brain break.
- Take a hot bath. Add bubbles, music, candles, and Epsom salts or a drop or two of your favorite essential oils if you have them.
- Take a walk around your neighborhood. It takes 15-20 minutes to go a leisurely mile.
- Sit and watch the sun set. Leave your phone inside. It only takes 2-5 minutes for the sun to set in most areas. Although once you sit down, you might want to stay there and just sit and be still for a few more minutes.
- Take a nap! Studies have shown that a 20-30 minute afternoon power nap can give you a huge brain boost.
- Do yoga. There are many free yoga sessions on YouTube. Some are as short as 15 minutes and others as long as an hour. Click here for one of these videos.
- Pick a day to sleep in. Turn off your alarm and just wake up with the sun. If that’s not possible, drink some decaffeinated tea and go to bed early.
- Clear your mind. If this seems impossible, focus on whatever brings you joy or calms your mind.
- To get started, you could list ten things you are grateful for. If thinking of things to be thankful for is too overwhelming, list ten frustrations and vent on paper. Or simply free-write your thoughts.
- Listen to music. Turn on your favorite tunes while cooking dinner or driving home.
It’s also okay to ask for help. Visit our Occasional Care/Respite Care page for more information about getting a break as a caregiver.