Top 5 Ways to Reduce Caregiver Stress

Did you know that slightly over 1 in 3 adults in the US provide care to another adult as their “informal” Caregiver? In many cases, this Caregiver may also be raising children, caring for their spouse while juggling a career, or pursuing a passion project.  

The outcome is often extreme levels of Caregiver stress that can lead to complete burnout. Here are a few of the signs related to Caregiver stress: 

  • Feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or worried 
  • Losing interest in things you once were passionate about 
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry over little things 
  • Frequent tension headaches, migraines, or muscle pain 
  • Feeling lethargic or completely fatigued regardless of sleep 

Studies show that being proactive about mindfulness and physical health makes a huge impact on our ability to manage stress. Here are 5 things you can do right now to lower your stress levels: 

  1. Exercise – Physical activity releases natural endorphins in the brain, which can improve mood and reduce pain. These endorphins are the reason behind the “runners high” people experience after a short run or physical activity. Just 30 minutes each day to go for a walk, do laps in the pool, jog around the block, or even do a little yoga will have a huge impact on your mindset and stress level.  
  2. Music – Music is powerful. Have you ever seen someone suffering from dementia and unable to communicate; suddenly get up, dance, and sing an entire song when their favorite music came on? This is the power of music therapy and it can be just as beneficial for the Caregiver as well. Did you know that music can lower blood pressure and heart rate too?  
  3. Respite Care – Find a way to take a break from the role as the primary caregiver, whether it’s for a few hours once per week or a long weekend away. It is extremely important to make time for “self-care!” Seek help from a home care agency, adult day care center, or even a short-term stay in assisted living for your loved one.  
  4. Gratitude Journal – Grab a notebook, create a Gratitude Journal and write down 3 things you are grateful for at the moment. Studies show that focusing attention on gratitude stimulates neurotransmitters in the brain to release dopamine and serotonin which promote feelings of contentment. 
  5. Seeking Support – You are not alone! Don’t ever forget that there are almost 45 million people in the US experiencing similar forms of Caregiver stress. It is important for you to find ways to connect with others who can relate to the struggles you are going through. Reach out to your local church, the Alzheimer’s Association, or other non-profit organizations which may host weekly or monthly caregiver support groups. 

If you are caring for your mom, dad, spouse, or a loved one, we are here to help! Receive a FREE copy of Florida’s 5-Step Guide to Senior Care by simply calling our senior care expert hotline at 941-676-3411. 

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