Taking a time-out when caring for a loved one can feel selfish. The truth is, you’re actually helping yourself and your loved one when you take a break. As you might expect, caregivers who use respite care services were happier and less stressed. Respite care also helps your loved one. Patients who were involved in respite care had fewer behavior problems and slept better at night than those whose caretakers did not take an occasional break, according to a recent study in the Journals of Gerontology.
After the busy holiday season, you may need time for yourself. Ask your loved one’s Care Manager about respite services. Or line up a friend or family member to take over for a few hours so you have some time to relax. Need inspiration? Here you go:
Grab a cup of coffee, do some window shopping, see a movie. Whatever you choose, doing it with someone who can make you laugh and smile is time well spent.
A quiet stroll in nature or through a museum may be the pause button your mind needs.
It’s no wonder that adult coloring books are the latest craze. These books offer the chance to escape without leaving your loved one alone. Bonus: Coloring is a great way to relieve stress and works like meditation.
What’s your favorite exercise? Biking, power walking, yoga, or tai chi will relax and invigorate you.
Get going on that scrapbook project you put on hold, try out some new recipes, or dig out your knitting needles. Carve out some time for the things you used to love to do.
A warm bath helps calm your mind and muscles. Add Epsom salt and a few drops of essential oil like sleep-inducing lavender.
A short snooze might be the reboot you need. Limit your nap to 20 minutes, about eight hours before bedtime, to avoid feeling groggy or wide-awake at night.
Caregivers are used to being “on” all the time. Find a few minutes to escape with tabloid magazines, a silly iPad app, listening to show tunes, or doing a puzzle.