Self-Care Techniques for Caregivers
Good morning care staff! Did you get enough sleep last night? Did you eat a hearty breakfast? (No, coffee is not an adequate breakfast). We know that you have designed plenty of tailored care plans and activities for seniors, but what are yours? What are your self-care techniques?
Research conducted by the Ontario Caregiver Organization mentioned that 77% of caregivers are dealing with challenges in their mental health, however, it’s difficult for them to find mental health support. As a result, 43% of caregivers are dealing with feelings of isolation and loneliness, which drastically increased during the pandemic. Now is the time to start taking better care of your body, soul, and mind, so we have some self-care tools you can check out to relieve some stress.
First, let’s talk about the practise that seems to be one of the main focuses right now when it comes to self-care and self-awareness: mindfulness. Mindfulness can help individuals regulate negative emotions and build emotional strength, which is exactly what we need when we are taking care of others.
As an effective stress-management tool, studies at The Gerontologist, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology show that mindfulness meditations can improve negative emotions experienced by caregivers all over the world. For instance, depression, stress, anxiety, isolation and sleep issues can all be improved with mindful practises.
Even if meditation isn’t your thing because you find your mind takes you too many places (yes, it is a skill), you can try simple things to get you started and self aware in the present moment. For example, have a look around and start naming everything you see, hear, and smell.
Next, let’s talk about the Thymus Thump. Have you heard of it? We haven’t up until recently. The best way to describe it would be to call it the happiness point. The happiness point can assist to release fear, neutralize negative energy, and relax mentally and physically. How? Well, simply tap the thymus point (under the collar bone, in front of the heart, behind the sternum) for about 30 seconds to receive new energy! Amazing right?
Finally, let’s take a look at acupuncture. Acupuncture, is a traditional Chinese medicine practice. It inserts thin needles into specific points to stimulate nerves and muscles, which can seem daunting, but honestly, you can’t feel a thing. The pressure caused by the needles helps the body to balance and heal itself, and relieves stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Have different self-care techniques? Please feel free to share your techniques with CareStory! Want to become better at caring for others? Start with caring for yourself first!
#WELLNESSWEDNESDAY, Take Care of Your Residents, Take Care of Yourselves
Caregivers spend all their time taking care of others – when are they going to take care of themselves?
Every Wednesday, CareStory will talk about self-care and wellness.
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