Care for the Caregiver

Breathing technique:

  • Focused breathing exercises help relieve stress and relax tense muscles.
  • Recommended at least twice a day, four repetitions.
  • Sit with feet flat on the floor, back straight, shoulders up/back/down, tongue behind front teeth, eyes closed
  • Inhale through nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 6, release through mouth for a count of 8

General stretches and exercise:

  • Stretches allow for improved blood flow and improve the integrity of muscles and joints. Exercise helps control stress hormones.
  • Stretches: Sink Pose, Crescent Moon, Cat/Cow in chair, Seated Twist in chair
  • Exercise: Walk or march in place, bicep curls with soup cans, use exercise bands

Aromatherapy:

  • Lavender, sage, sandalwood, coconut help with stress relief. Citrus scents help boost energy.

Hand-held stress relievers:

  • When we're stressed, we tend to hold tension in various parts of our bodies, including the jaw, shoulders, neck and head. Redirecting that tension to an object can help bring stress down.
  • Examples: worry stones, foam balls, song bowls, 'jinglers', koosh balls, sand bags, pin block, labyrinths

Visual stress relievers:

  • Colors, plants, flowers, photos or videos of sceneries, perpetual motion sculptures.

Audible stress relievers:

  • Ticking clocks, instrumental music, sound machines (oceans, birds), white noise machines.

Journaling:

  • Buy a journal that has a look and feel that you like.
  • Use colored pens that represent different feelings (blue might mean sad, purple might mean at peace).

Self-Massage:

  • Best areas: face, eye area, brow, shoulders, neck, hands, feet. Warm scented oils/lotions help.

Nutrition:

  • There are foods that heal (pure and whole foods) and foods that harm (comfort and fast foods).
  • PROBLEMATIC: sugar, trans-fats, most white foods (bread, pasta, rice, pastries), alcohol
  • HELPFUL: whole fruits and vegetables, beans, essential fatty acids, whole grains, water, walnuts, almonds

Time in nature:

  • We are Nature, so it makes complete sense for us to spend time in and with Nature often.

SLEEP:

  • Use white noise machines, eye masks, timed music, guided imagery videos (YouTube)

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