"A" Tips for Tension Relief While Caregiving a Family Member

March 3, 2018

 

 

The life of caring for a family member with Alzheimer's or other serious condition can definitely be overwhelming and time consuming. Assess for yourself - is this your mantra, "I am so busy." "I don't have time"? Are you, as a caregiver also dealing with your health issues in addition to your family member's?  Are you caught in the sandwich generation? You may also be employed outside of the home adding to the tremendous weight involved in daily living. Do you feel close to the end of your rope?

 

The mental toll involved in spending time with someone who is constantly repeating the same question or shadowing your every move can certainly create tension. Constant worry about family members with dementia or other serious illness who live alone refusing help can definitely raise havoc on your mental well-being. Consequently, it is not surprising for you to feel the tension and just take for granted that this is the way it is with no relief in sight. "I am so busy".  "I don't have time".

 

So what would it take for you to make the time to focus on tension relief? How about if I reinforce something that you have probably already acknowledged - tension is not good for your health. Assess if you have increased blood pressure, zapped energy, lowered mood. How much of a friend are you being to yourself if you neglect the assessed health risks? If doing something for yourself is not enough to have you make a move towards working on tension relief, how about if you acknowledge and assess how tension relief can assist you in your ability to provide the best care you can for your family member? By becoming less tense and calmer, you are then able to cope better with the caregiving challenges.

 

Since we are over the hurdle of acknowledging and assessing the importance of tension relief for you and your family member, how can you assist yourself? Do you open up a gym membership, meditate, go out for fun with your friends? It may be "Yes" to all of them. The key is commitment, goal setting and discipline. Pick what is right for you. Assist yourself to find a way to stay commited. It may be finding a group, practicing with a friend. You may need guidance and coaching.  Contrary to popular belief, seeking help when needed is a strength, not a weakness. A practical book can serve as a wonderful assisting resource especially one that serves as a cocoon written especially for caregivers of frail aging parents and chronically ill family members. Preview Keeping It Together: How to Cope as a Family Caregiver without Losing Your Sanity. Self care is a necessity, not a luxury. AcknowledgeAssessAssist for yourself!

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Updated October 2019

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