5 Quick Tips Every Family Caregiver Must Know

I wonder if you have had days like I had. You know, those days that never seem to go right. It starts with spilling your coffee all over your white shirt, and then finding out that was the last clean shirt – at least the last clean one with all the buttons! You end up late for work on the day the owner makes a surprise visit to see you. And you forgot your lunch – and your wallet. And you haven’t even yet had to deal with the calls to the doctor and other errand for the one you are caring for. You are absolutely frazzled and likely to blow up at the next person that tells you to chill out, relax and take a bubble bath. Some days there are not even enough minutes to catch your breath. You can catch your breath – and the answer to how to do that might surprise you. The way to catch up and get more done is to slow down. It’s true. Sometimes you need to slow down to accomplish more.

Here are 5 ways you can take just a few minutes to slow down. These tips are great for anywhere, anytime.

1) Sit down for 5 – 10 minutes, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breath – paying attention to the rise and fall of your chest.
2) Be thankful/have gratitude. For about 3 – 5 minutes, write down as many things as possible for what you are thankful. It can start with feeling grateful you woke up in the morning, or having a car or other way to get to work. You can be thankful for the flowers, grass, snow, or water from your tap. You can also be thankful for your spouse, and their love. You can be thankful you have time to be thankful.
3) Take 3 – 5 deep breaths – in through your nose, to a count of 5, out to a count of 5. Three deep breaths is enough to change the physiology of your body and you will feel more calm and peaceful afterwards.
4) Take a walk around the block/walk up and down stairs
5) Phone a supportive family member or friend.

So you don’t have to let the day control you. Get back on track in 10 minutes or less. Let me know which one you like best and what other things you have tried that you’d suggest to others.

May you find peace, hope, and joy in every day.

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