April is Stress Awareness Month! Why is this important to us? Everyone experiences stress and, over time, it can become detrimental to our health. We care about YOU so we’re sharing ways to manage your stress and hope to make stress management a part of our community.
We should all be using these tools, especially those who are caring for a loved one. Even when not in quarantine for a pandemic, caregivers face many challenges and can experience extreme exhaustion and stress. In fact, it’s important to note that caregivers have a 63% higher risk of mortality than others their age who are not caregiving. So, please take care of yourself and check on your friends who are caregivers!
These ten tips are all great ways to reduce the amount of stress you are experiencing. Depending on the amount of time you have, some may be more achievable than others. Pick the one that feels right for the moment and don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know what might help until you give it a chance!
10 Tips to Tackle Stress
- Breathe – Close your eyes, inhale for three seconds, exhale for five seconds, and repeat until you feel better.
- Meditate – Click here for guided meditation or choose a quiet spot, close your eyes, and relax. You may find it helpful to “turn off” parts of your body one at a time. Work from head to toe relaxing your eyes, mouth, throat, shoulders, etc until you’re feeling a full body relaxation. Then, sit in this for as long as you can. You may choose to focus on a word, color, or mantra.
- Do Yoga – There are many free resources online but Yoga with Adriene is very popular. Click here to check it out!
- Laugh – Sometimes we just need a good laugh to help us get through the tough times. Click here to read funny stories from caregivers.
- Exercise – Even if it’s just a quick walk around the block every day, that’s okay. Get your body moving and it will thank you!
- Manage Self-Talk – Feed your brain positive thoughts. Write down affirmations to say to yourself daily. Post it in a place where you will see it often like the refrigerator.
- Take Time Off – Breaks are necessary for everyone! When you get the opportunity, take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. YOU are worth it!
- Drink Water – Although not directly related, drinking enough water is crucial to your well-being. Talk to your doctor for specific amounts and click here to read this article for ways to increase water consumption.
- Talk to Someone You Trust or Write – In this time of physical distancing, it’s important to remain socially connected in safe ways. Our social workers are available for counseling. If you don’t want to talk, that’s okay too! Writing in a journal can be beneficial and help “talk things out” without sharing information.
- Make an Action Plan – If there’s a particular trigger causing stress, make a plan for how you will react. On the other hand, make a plan for when you will make your self-care happen.
Alzheimer’s Project is still providing support!
These are just ten of MANY ways you can help tackle stress. Every person is different but we all need to find a way to care for ourselves. Keep an open mind and, most importantly, ask for help if you’re struggling. You are not alone!
If you are a caregiver in the Florida Big Bend, we will be providing additional resources to you in the Alzheimer’s Project Online Support Group and hosting an online Powerful Tools for Caregivers course. For additional support or to register, we are available at (850) 386-2778 on weekdays from 8am-5pm to help you get connected to the help you need.
Your Support Matters
Alzheimer’s Project is a Tallahassee-based nonprofit serving caregivers and families in the Florida Big Bend. All our services are currently being offered virtually. Donations are always appreciated to help keep our services available to families in need. Click here to fund our services and save a caregiver’s life!