Advice for at-home carers: 5 ways to de-stress

Our caregivers at Oakland Care know all too well that caring for loved ones can take its toll

For many home caregivers, taking on this role doesn’t come with a choice – but it’s no less easy a task to take on. When juggling it with other responsibilities, such as looking after children, caring for a loved one can become stressful. This can internalise as feelings of agitation and frustration. Neither of which are healthy for you or the care recipient. It’s important that you, as a carer, take the time to de-stress. This way, you’ll be well enough to continue your responsibilities. You’ll also be able to provide the best care possible for your loved one.

So how, exactly, can you start to alleviate some of that stress?

1) Accept help from a friend/family member to de-stress

When you’ve settled into your caring responsibilities, it can be hard to imagine others stepping in. Although it seems the contrary, accepting help from your friends and family will help you de-stress. For example, allowing them to take your loved one for a walk whilst you read a book in solitude may give you the mid-day break you need. Accepting help when it’s offered will, over time, help you to regulate your own mental and physical health.

Young woman reading a book in relaxing garden to de-stress

2) Respite care

Everyone deserves a break every now and then. This is especially true for those who spend their time caring for others. There’s no need to let potential feelings of guilt get in the way. Remember: to be the best version of yourself, you need to allow yourself time to de-stress and recuperate.

If you’re looking to go on holiday, respite care allows you to do so with the knowledge that your loved one is in good hands. They’ll gain an invaluable opportunity to make new friends, whilst receiving professional care. A change of scenery can often be a welcome gift. You and your loved one will return to each other feeling happy and refreshed.

Why not give your loved one the gift of care? At Oakland Care, our respite care services allow you, the carer, to go on an adventure – whilst your loved one continues to be looked after by our dedicated team.

3) De-stress with yoga & meditation practices

The beauty of yoga and meditation practices is that anyone can try them – no matter their level of expertise. Both are adaptable for complete beginners – but all variations succeed to instil a range of mental and physical health benefits.

Young woman meditating outdoors to de-stress

Meditation and yoga are mind and body practices. They aim to form vital connections between the body and our mental wellbeing. As a result, we become more aware of the present moment, and we experience a detox of the mind. Yoga stretches also offer a plethora of physiological health benefits. These range from from increased circulatory health, to an instant mood boost.

When practised over time, meditation and yoga reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. We’re also in a better position to cope with unexpected life events. In general, our mood lifts, helping us to view life through more optimistic eyes.

4) Be as organised as you can

It can be overwhelming when we’re faced with care responsibilities. Without careful consideration and proper routines, the scale of work can start to take over your mental state. It’s important to be as organised as you can in this instance. You could, perhaps, set a daily schedule for you and your loved one. It’s also useful to buy organisational stationery to keep important documents separate.

Woman sat down with a diary, organising her life to de-stress.

5) Try deep breathing exercises

Many people underestimate the effectiveness of deep breathing. Carers Trust recommends breathing in through the nose, and out through the mouth – both for four seconds. This offers instant relief for feelings of stress and agitation. It also boosts your energy levels and blood flow.

At Oakland Care, we understand the stress that can come with caring for a loved one. We’re always here to support care recipients and their family members. To find out more about our care and our respite options, please click here.