There is no perfect formula for managing more than one household. One minute you are picking up a week’s worth of food from Whole Foods, prescriptions from Walgreens, paying utility bills, and scheduling doctor’s appointments for your parents. The next minute you are meeting work demands and holding down the fort with family life, a spouse and children. Oftentimes caregivers aren’t eased into these situations but rather thrown into this role overnight after a loved one suffers a heart attack or cancer diagnosis. It’s time to consider calming diversions at home as you feel your blood pressure rising, your energy waning, or your spirit plummeting. I am sharing with you the things I did to prevent caregiver burnout, I know it will help you just as much.
Talk it Out
A good conversation can help reel you back to your place of calm. I had a lively discussion with some other moms about needing to take a timeout when our kids are asking the same question over and over.. What ensued was a conversation about a special closet for moms to escape to for a break. Our impromptu brainstorming session generated the following recommended features: surround sound, a door that locks from the inside, drawers full of decadent chocolate, a coffee station, a wireless phone charging station, scented candles, a cozy blanket, an armchair and a skylight. Yes, it sounds more like a mansion than a closet, but one can dream. We related to each other, we laughed and we relaxed.
Listen to Music
Many studies have concluded that music helps to improve mood and reduce stress. Music can be such a powerful tool. Not only is it about the endorphin boosting melody or beat of the song, but also lyrics that inspire strength and hope can be motivational.
Having a few playlists in your arsenal that relate to your current mood is ideal. Think Katy Perry (I am a champion!) for motivation and Pharell Williams, Happy song to lift your spirits.
Have a Good Book or Podcast Ready
Being immersed in a really captivating story can be the perfect escape. Reading can be therapeutic because it can be enough of a distraction to help the mind and body relax. Free podcasts are also easy to access online. Not only are there plenty of storyteller podcasts available, but also there are Caregiver podcasts if you feel like listening to something relatable that can offer some support.
Ask people to recommend exceptional material they have listened to or read recently and scout out websites that list the top 10.
Look for Humor
This is probably self-explanatory. Yes, looking for a good stand-up comedy special on Netflix can help destress. But I personally have been really appreciating the memes that have been circulating relating to the pandemic and home schooling. With so many parents struggling to balance homeschooling with working from home, reading a quick meme can offer some much needed comedic relief during this stressful time.
Have a Creative Outlet
Being in the state of ‘creating’ can be extremely relaxing for people. Whether you are dabbling in the arts, filling pages with your thoughts or building with Lego; whatever form of expression you choose, it should be an activity that you enjoy and doesn’t feel like work.
About The Author
Nadia Tahir, MBA, founder of Time To Carry On.
Nadia Tahir, MBA, is a proud wife, mom of 2 kids and advocate for better dementia care and caregiver support. Her blog, Time To Carry On, is a safe place for caregivers to find support and learn from the real life stories of others.