stress

MANAGING STRESS FOR CAREGIVERS

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7 Calming Techniques For Stressful Situations

Caring for an older adult is a stressful job. What helps is using a variety of different ways to reduce and manage stress.

That keeps daily frustrations from becoming overwhelming and causing caregiver burnout.

1. PLAN AHEAD Come up with strategies so you’ll know what to do if a tough situation comes up.

Deciding ahead of time “if X happens, I’ll do Y” helps you feel more in control and gives you confidence that you’ll be able to handle it.

2. FOCUS ON BREATHING When you feel anxious or upset, practice breathing in a slow and controlled manner – like square breathing.

3. EXERCISE Physical activity stimulates endorphins and is a great stress reliever. Even a few minutes of getting your blood moving will do a world of good for your mood.

Try this quick exercise technique next time you need a break.

4. AVOID ASKING “WHAT IF?” The longer you spend worrying about every possible outcome, the more time you’ll spend focused on negative thoughts.

Instead of speculating endlessly, force yourself to take a break from worry, even for just 10 minutes, to break out of the negative rut.

Or try turning your worry into something productive.

5. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES This is our favorite tip. Keep a go-to list of positive thoughts and things you’re grateful for. That way, in times of stress, you can immediately focus on them. Putting positive thoughts in your head shifts your mindset away from negativity and instantly improves your mood.

6. REJECT NEGATIVE SELF-TALK When we’re stressed, the voice in our head often becomes extra-negative toward ourselves.

Notice when this happens and identify those harsh self-criticisms as just thoughts, not facts.

Instead, speak to yourself in a neutral or positive way to significantly reduce stress. 7. FORGIVE Nobody is perfect and we shouldn’t hold on to blame toward ourselves or others. That will only add to our stress and frustration.

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