Caring for a parent is stressful. It’s hard for it not to be stressful.
You’re balancing your personal life, work life, and parent’s needs. It’s a juggling act that leads to burnout, stress, and anxiety.
Some caregivers are able to handle the stress better than others. Here are the tips caregivers offer for handling stressful situations.
Eat Well and Get Plenty of Sleep
You cannot completely avoid stress, but you can take measures to ease the stress. A healthy diet and enough sleep at night are important.
Aim for at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night. You may need to create a routine that helps your body relax and prepare for sleep. For some caregivers, a warm bath, cup of herbal tea, and aromatherapy can help ease the body into a state of relaxation that makes it easier to sleep.
When it comes to foods, you want to eat fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and grains. Try not to eat dinner close to the time you go to bed. Dinner in the early evening is ideal. It gives your body time to start the digestion process and help eliminate the risk of heartburn.
Exercise Each Day
Burn off energy throughout the day and that can help to ease anxiety and stress. Get outside and go for a walk. Bring your parent and they’ll sleep better at night, too.
Current recommendations are to aim for 30 minutes of exercise each day. If your parents are relatively mobile, they should be able to handle a mile walk in that amount of time. You could mix it up and walk one day and take a Tai Chi or Yoga class another day. Swimming, bicycling, and weight training is other recommended activities for adults.
Talk to a Home Care Agency About Respite Care
Respite care is a form of senior care that benefits family caregivers and the seniors they care for. What happens with respite care is that professional caregivers come to your parent’s home and provide the care services they need.
While the caregivers are at your parent’s home, you’re able to go out to run errands, attend appointments, or go out and socialize with friends. Respite care is a great way to ensure you have time to go out with your spouse or significant other and aren’t burning out.
Talk to friends and family members to see if they can care for your parent while you take a break. If that’s not possible, call an agency. Ask about respite care rates and schedules that will help you avoid stress.