Five Ways to Manage Stress

As caregivers we really need to first take care of ourselves so that we have something to give to our children.  At the risk of exposing too much about myself, I would like to share something that has helped me a great deal.  When our daughter with spina bifida was born, a new level of stress entered my life that I had not experienced.  I kept waiting for a “new normal” to settle in and it just never happened.  As a result I felt the need to see a councilor to help me find ways to handle everything.  The following is the advice I received that finally helped me make necessary changes for the better.  Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the counsel.  I promise it works!

Exercise – Exercise is a natural way to help you feel good.  As you sweat and get your heart pumping your mind clears and you are able to release a lot of frustration and anxiety.

Eat Right – Choosing to eat well is another way that you can take care of yourself.    When you eat well you have physical energy to handle the challenges of the day.  That physical energy immediately translates into emotional energy to then deal with other stressors.

Relax – This doesn’t mean surfing the Internet, watching television or reading a book.  Those are all escapes.  To relax means to let your mind rest.  Take a walk, look at a beautiful scene, and breathe deeply.

Interests/Hobbies – Seek out ways to explore your own interests and hobbies.  Take a photography course, join a choir, participate in a book group, or try whatever else interests you.   This may seem selfish, but it is important for you to have some balance in your life.

Socialize – Take a break from everyday life and responsibilities by going out on dates with your spouse, or just go out with friends.  You deserve a break!

How do you manage stress?  What has worked for you?

Meilani K.

Category: For Caregivers, Helpful Tips, Inspiration · Tags:

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