Part of being a caregiver sometimes means troubleshooting your own stress-relief mechanisms to find the ones that work the best for you. Give these a try and see if they help you to have a better day the next day.
Look at Your “To Do” List and Cut it in Half
Very few people have what could be called a realistic “to do” list. Most people keep a running list of everything that they want to do and that list can take on a life of its own. It’s discouraging to look at a lengthy list that you never finish. Do yourself a favor and look closely at your list for tomorrow. Reassign at least half of those tasks to another day.
Add One Fun, Just for You Task to Tomorrow
Something else that you need to start doing is add one activity or task to your list for tomorrow that is all about you and all about having fun. It might be to read for half an hour before everyone gets up or to have your morning coffee where you can watch the sunrise. It doesn’t have to be a large or complicated activity. The idea is that you’re doing something that is just for you and that you will enjoy.
As you’re trying to go to sleep, you probably find that your mind tends to race. If that’s the case for you, place your hands on your stomach and take as deep a breath as you can. It might not be a very deep breath yet and that’s okay. Hold that breath for a few seconds and then slowly release it. Take several more deep breaths, each one deeper than the last. If you fall asleep, that’s a bonus.
Turn off Devices, Televisions, and Other Screens
Anything with a screen uses blue light, which can trick your brain into keeping itself running. Ironically, you might be watching your favorite TV program to relax before bed. Unless you’ve got glasses that block blue light, it’s a good idea to limit screen exposure for an hour or two before you try to sleep. Give this a try and you might be surprised how well you start to sleep.
These tips don’t guarantee that something really stressful won’t show up the next day, but they can help you to be in a better space in which to manage whatever surprises fall your way. As a caregiver, you have to take care of yourself as well as your aging adult and everyone else you care for.