Relaxation Exercises to Ease Caregiver Stress

Caregivers in Dallas, TX

In your role as a family caregiver for your elderly parents, relaxation is essential. Taking the time to relax eases tension, relieves stress, and wards off potentially serious ill-effects of caregiver stress such as depression, anxiety, and increased susceptibility to illness and infection. Relaxation does not have to mean spending hours lying around in order to be beneficial. Short bursts of focused relaxation can be extremely helpful in keeping your mind and body strong, healthy, and balanced.

Relaxation exercises utilize the power of breath and concentration to ease your mind and relax your body. Knowing these techniques allows you to put them to work whenever you have a few minutes and feel the need for a refreshing boost. Try all of them and experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you.

• Visualization. Your mind is a powerful force and you can harness that force to provide exceptional relaxation benefits. When you have a few free moments, close your eyes, and focus on visualizing something that relaxes you. Choose just one thing, whether it is a place, an activity, a person, or even just a color. Do not let your mind wander away from that one focus point. Immerse yourself in it completely and imagine you are actually in that place, doing that activity, with that person, or surrounded by that color. Take deep breaths and work on bringing forward all of the sensory details of that relaxation point, including the smells, sounds, and even tastes. Let yourself relax as your mind experiences your focal point.

• Muscle group relaxation. Sometimes relaxing your muscles starts with tensing them up. Lie on your back or sit up in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes and bring your focus to your body. Start with your feet and focus on tensing the muscles, then relaxing them. Stretch your toes, roll your ankles, and consciously allow the tension to ease out of the muscles. Continue up to your calf muscles, tighten them firmly, and hold it for five seconds before letting it release. Repeat this process as you move up your body, focusing on your individual muscle groups as you tense and release them.

• Breathing. Giving your body extra oxygen is a great way to help ease tension and promote the release of toxins. Close your eyes and focus on each breath. Place your hands on your stomach and make sure that your belly is poking out as you draw in a breath rather than going in. Inhale deeply, hold it for a moment, and then release it, allowing your belly to sink back down. Continue taking deep breaths, filling your lungs and belly as much as you can, and emptying them as much as you can with each exhalation.

• Count slowly. You have likely heard of counting sheep, and though you may think it is just a silly old wives’ tale, there is actually wisdom behind it. Counting slowly and visualizing objects to go along with the counting brings your focus to that activity and away from the things that may be bothering you or worrying you. This helps your mind to “shut off” and truly relax.

If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Caregivers in Dallas, TX, Please Call The Caring Staff At Second Family Home Care At (972) 846-HOME (4663).

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