Stress is part of life for everyone, but especially if you’re a caregiver. If you have a few ways to defuse stress quickly, that can help you to get through to the next good thing you have coming your way.
Slow Everything Down
Everything feels faster when you’re stressed. Life is coming at you faster. People expect answers faster. Your breathing and your thoughts are also faster. Do what you can to slow things down. You can’t make other people more patient or slow them down, but you can slow yourself down. Pay attention to your breathing and consciously make each breath a little slower and a little deeper than the one before it. That can help your brain to slow down a little, too.
Assess Your Thoughts
Stress can cause you to have some thoughts that aren’t helpful, especially in the heat of the moment. You may not be able to replace those thoughts right out of the gate, but what you can do is to notice them. If those thoughts aren’t helpful ones, dismiss them. For example, you might have some angst about scheduling appointments for your senior and one of the thoughts you might have could involve your own schedule and making sure your schedule never conflicts with whatever might come up for your senior. That’s something you can’t predict and it’s not a helpful thought. Dismissing it allows you to deal with reality.
Try to Laugh
Laughter helps in most situations, especially when you’re dealing with stress. As a caregiver you might feel as if you don’t have a lot to laugh about, but there are plenty of situations that are humorous. The key is to find humor in situations without doing it in a hurtful way. You might want to consider signing up for joke-a-day newsletters or make sure that you keep favorite episodes of funny shows queued up and ready to go.
Routines Can Make Life Easier
Routines can feel stifling, but as a caregiver they give you structure that you can lean on, especially in times of stress. Take a look at your current routines and see if there are things you can adjust or tweak that make those routines work better for you. That alone can help you to relieve some stress.
You can’t manage all of your stress with fast methods. But you can get yourself to a point where you know you have a plan or you know there’s something else you can put in place as a solution.