Alzheimer’s caregiver stress is a serious problem. According to a study by psychologist Peter Vitaliano, caregivers had a 23 percent higher level of stress hormones than non-caregivers. Stress has detrimental effects on both your mental and physical health, so it is important to find ways to relax and bounce back from the stress that caregiving throws your way. After all, to be able to care for your loved one to the best of your ability, you need to take care of yourself first. Below, we’ve listed some helpful coping strategies.
Alzheimer’s Caregiver Stress
You probably didn’t hear it here first, but research shows that meditating can relieve stress. You can try out several different meditation techniques until you find one that best suits you. Even if your meditation practice is as simple as 10 minutes of mindful breathing, you can significantly benefit from slowing your mind and body down for just a few moments.
One easy meditative breathing technique is left nostril breathing. To practice, simply sit up straight, hold down on your right nostril, and breath in through your left nostril for 10 seconds and out through your left nostril for 1o seconds. Repeat this process for at least three minutes. Studies show that this practice triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax. If you want to take your mediation a step further, you can incorporate relaxing scents like lavender through room spray or an essential oil diffuser.
What article about stress relief would be complete without the advice to exercise? There is a reason that this is a common stress relief tip – exercise can help your body use up extra cortisol, which is a stress hormone. This can come in any form that feels right for you, even if that’s dancing or simply walking. Find an enjoyable activity that gets your heart rate up a little to burn extra cortisol.
Yoga is an excellent example of a relaxing exercise that can get your blood pumping. This practice blends stretching with meditating, which can be a win-win for someone undergoing a stressful time in life.
Talk to Someone
Letting out your feelings through conversation can help relieve stress. Find a safe person to talk to about your struggles. This person could be a friend who you can relate to, such as a family member or fellow caregiver, or it could be a licensed therapist. A therapist can be a great option because this person is usually far removed from your inner circle and isn’t as emotionally intertwined with your life. You can also research online and in-person support groups for caregivers.
Seek Help from an Assisted Living Facility
Did you know that some assisted living facilities specialize in memory care? Finding a place for your loved one to live out their days comfortably and safely can take a huge burden off your days. With all the time that you would have spent tending to your loved one’s needs, you can instead spend quality time together. Finding a facility that you can trust will help you enjoy peace of mind, which can certainly relieve stress.
An assisted living community that specializes in memory care can be a great resource when it comes to relieving Alzheimer’s caregiver stress. Located in the heart of downtown Greenville, South Carolina, Waterstone on Augusta is a premier assisted living and memory care community. We offer a welcoming environment and an enriching lifestyle for our seniors. Plus, we provide support services for family members and engage residents through social events, activities, and games. Schedule a tour online or give us a call at 864-568-0482.