<!–[CDATA[Are you a caregiver who is feeling stressed out by the many demands on your time and energy?
It might be tempting to relax at night with a glass (or a bottle) of wine, engage in “retail therapy,” or take part in other less-than-healthy activities.
It’s okay to indulge in less-than-wholesome behaviors once in a while. But letting unhealthy behaviors become a habit can cause more problems in the long run and, eventually, hinder your ability to perform your caregiving duties.
So, step away from that pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and try one of these five all-natural remedies to beat caregiver stress.
Beating Caregiver Stress with Natural Remedies
It may be a cliché, but there’s plenty of evidence to show exercise reduces stress. Physical activity releases natural endorphins that make you feel good. It might be hard to get going or to find time in the day to work out. But carving out 20 minutes for a walk, a jog, or a bike ride will ultimately give you the energy you need to accomplish everything else you have to do.
Make exercise part of a daily routine and you’ll feel the lasting effects in reduced stress, more energy, and an overall healthier outlook on life.
2. Use essential oils
Have you ever walked into a space and immediately felt at ease? Maybe you noticed a light scent in the air? The building’s occupants may have been employing essential oils for aromatherapy.
As essential oils grow in popularity, they are easy to buy and even easier to use. Fill a diffuser with your favorite, relaxing scent, or put a few drops on your pillowcase to sleep better.
Experts recommend geranium, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, chamomile or lemongrass as oils with the best stress-boosting properties.
3. Take a yoga or meditation class
Yoga and meditation often go hand-in-hand. Used together or separately, these ancient Eastern techniques can reduce stress and improve your health. If you can’t find the time or money to attend a class, plenty of free YouTube videos can guide you through the basics.
Best of all, meditation doesn’t require a lot of time. You can benefit from just 10 minutes of meditation a day.
4. Have a Reiki healing session or a massage
If you feel like you aren’t the type of person who can quiet your mind on your own, consider having a Reiki session with an “energy healer.” While there’s no scientific proof this ancient Eastern practice works to heal ailments, you might feel re-energized afterwards. Maybe it’s the soft music and the caring attention from the healer.
Or maybe there really is something to it.
If you love the idea of abandoning your caregiver role for an hour while lying on a table with soft music playing and pleasing scents all around, but remain skeptical about Reiki, try a massage instead.
5. Indulge in dark chocolate
While we don’t recommend binging on sweet treats, dark chocolate does have mood-boosting, stress-reducing properties. For a quick fix, aim for a brand that has at least 72 percent real cacao and eat no more than 1.5 ounces (a small chocolate bar) per day.
What Works For YOU?
No two caregivers are alike. What works best for you may cause stress for someone else. Sometimes, beating stress the natural way is as simple thinking about what makes you happy and taking 15 – 20 minutes out of your day to do exactly that.
And if you need to get away and enjoy a break from caregiving, many senior living communities offer respite care to make that easier to do.