Dear Wonderful Readers:
I’ve been writing my caregiving blog for over a year now, more than 60 posts, and I want to thank you for reading them! I learn so much from your comments and stories, and I feel a kinship with each and every one of you and an enormous amount of respect for what you do everyday.
April is National Stress Awareness Month, so let’s bring it on and band together to help each other better manage our stress.
Caregiving is stress personified. It’s anticipatory stress, stress in the moment, and stress that feels never-ending. What’s going to happen next? How can I handle this? When will I get some answers? I could add about 1,000 more questions to this list and I’m sure you could too because, as we all know, stress is relentless.
So instead of letting the mountain of stress that faces us everyday keep us in the shadows, let’s brainstorm a bit.
Here are a few ways I’ve learned to manage my stress. I’ll start the list, but I hope you will comment below so we can all learn from each other. In fact, let’s aim for 100 ways to reduce stress on this list so we can discover as many ways of managing our stress as we have things to stress about!
Don’t be shy. Please comment below, and add your stress-busting tips.
Here are 10 from me to start:
- Hug someone — hugging releases our “feel good” hormones.
- Open your mouth wide three or four times in a silent scream! The “alligator face” loosens the tension in our jaw. And since the scream is silent, you can scream anything you wish, just don’t let it slip out or you may be in trouble!
- Do a few neck rolls to release tension in your neck and shoulders.
- Oldie but goodie — take three or four slow deep breaths and imagine your tension blowing out on your exhale.
- Sing along with the radio or a CD in the car. Loudly. Let it all out. Pick a good venting song!
- Go for a walk and try to listen to the sounds outside instead of the nagging thoughts in your head.
- Try yoga.
- Call a friend or and ask how they are doing to take your mind off things.
- Write a letter that starts, Dear Me. Why am I stressed? Can I turn my worries into manageable problems? Let’s make a plan?
- Ask a loved one to give you a massage or a foot rub.
These are a few of my go-to strategies. I can’t wait to hear yours. Go!