6 Unique Ways to Manage Caregiver Stress

By Annette Bratcher, 9:00 am on

Even if you have a supportive family and positive mindset, taking care of an aging loved one can be a difficult job. At some point, you are most likely going to experience stress, and you need to know how to manage those feelings before they impact your physical and emotional health. Here is a look at a few unique strategies you can use to boost your energy levels and reduce your stress.

1. Adopt a Pet

Taking care of an animal might seem like one more thing to worry about, but adopting a cat or dog could be quite beneficial to you and your loved one. Countless studies have shown that interacting with a pet triggers the release of “feel-good” chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. If you are nervous about taking care of an animal with a lot of energy, consider adopting a senior dog or cat. 

Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Denton families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.

2. Wear a Rubber Band Around Your Wrist

Gently snapping the wrist with a rubber band has been a popular psychological practice for many years, and it has helped many people break addictions and overcome negative emotions. Whenever you are starting to feel stressed out, you can lightly snap yourself with the rubber band. Over time, you will subconsciously start to avoid those feelings. This technique has been studied extensively, and many psychologists believe it is one of the most effective ways to manage anxiety and acute panic attacks.

Family caregivers who need help reducing their stress levels can benefit from professional assistance. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Denton Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

3. Drink a Big Glass of Orange Juice

Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland, and it is responsible for many of the physical symptoms of stress such as cold sweats and high blood pressure. To clear cortisol out of your bloodstream, you need to have plenty of vitamin C in your body. Eating an orange or drinking a big glass of orange juice can flush this stress hormone out of your system and prevent blood pressure spikes. Healthy adults should try to consume between 65 and 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day. 

4. Massage Your Pressure Points

Massage therapy is a great way to reduce stress levels, and you don’t need to head to a professional masseuse to enjoy the many benefits of this practice. There are many pressure points throughout your body that you can massage on your own, including your ears, wrists, hands, and feet. Rubbing these areas for a few minutes every day can flood your brain and bloodstream with dopamine. 

5. Start Coloring

Adult coloring books have become extremely popular over the last few years, and many therapists are now offering them to their patients for stress relief. While you are coloring complex patterns, you must stay in the moment and focus all your energy on the task in front of you. Art therapy has many of the same benefits as traditional meditation. If you are having difficulty concentrating on the art, put on some relaxing music to stimulate multiple senses at the same time. 

6. Create a Funny YouTube Playlist

Forcing yourself to smile or laugh at a funny video could lower your stress levels. One recent study published in Psychological Science found that forced laughter almost immediately suppresses the production of cortisol. Caregivers who have a difficult time laughing or smiling should create a YouTube playlist of cute or funny videos they can turn on when they are feeling stressed. Spending just a few minutes watching these videos could leave you feeling refreshed and focused.

If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality non-medical senior care, Denton Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. Call us at 972-468-6010 to hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one.