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April is National Stress Awareness Month

April 12, 2023

  – A key component of healthy living includes acknowledgement of the things that affect our lives and makes us happy or sad.  In our busy world, whether you are a child, teenager, or older adult, stress is one of those things that affect our wellbeing, especially if we are caring for a loved one who is elderly and caring for ourselves at the same time.  This month of April we bring awareness and related tactics on how to deal with stress, a constant oppressor in our modern daily lives.

Below, you will see a list of suggestions, and as with anything else, practice makes perfect and It will take some time, determination and persistence in applying these principles in order to be successful at becoming less stressed. Keep in mind that if your stress is chronic, it may require more attention and/or lifestyle changes. Determine your particular tolerance level for stress and try to live within these limits. Learn to accept or change stressful and tense situations whenever possible.

  • Turn the TV/radio off!  If the world is coming to an end, you will know it – no need to be plugged into the TV/radio hourly to find out.  It may become necessary for you to take a break from listening to the news, watching news on television or viewing stressful content whether it is from movies or TV shows that creates anxiety. Watching everything that is negative in the world can be overwhelming, give yourself a break every once in a while and refresh your brain. 
  • Take care of yourself. What is an activity that you have done in the past that brings you joy, helps you relax, or calms you down?  Add that particular activity weekly, whether is taking a long walk, enjoying a sport like golf or tennis, or booking a much needed massage at your favorite SPA.  There is a wonderful feeling of fullfilment when we engage in activities that makes us happy. Although schedules can be busy, book a specific time in your busy calendar for those activities that give you joy.  Maybe it is just an hour of shopping or buying your favorite book and setting aside time to read it.  These small pleasures can become life savers.
  • Meditate.  Just ten to twenty minutes of quiet reflection in a beautiful space may bring relief from chronic stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. Use the time to listen to music, relax and try to think of pleasant things or maybe nothing at all.  Free your mind.
  • Exercise. Take good care of your body by setting aside time to exercise.  The benefits of exercise for stress are many, such as increase of endorphins. Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.  Exercise also improves your mood, try to get moving at least 20 to 30 minutes per day. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain and can have a tremendous impact on your body.
  • Socialize. Studies have shown that interaction with others sharpens memory and cognitive skills. Increasing your sense of happiness and well being may even help you live longer. Whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, or attending a party and meeting new people, socializing staves off feelings of loneliness. In-person is best, but connecting via technology also works as well. 
  • Connect with your Faith-based community. Faith communities make a difference for some, they provide social support and encourage weekly engagement.  Among other effects, regular worship and other spiritual acts appear to lengthen life expectancy, strengthen immunity and improve the bodies response to stress. 
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Be careful in thinking that drugs or alcohol can have a relaxing affect . The effects of drugs or alcohol add to the chemical hormonal changes that occur during stressful situations. This may cause your body to be impacted more severely or reveal the stresses on your body sooner rather than later.
  • Stay away from negative people. Just say no to situations or people that may have a negative impact on your life. Sometimes, we unknowingly give toxic individuals influence over our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Whether you spend two hours complaining about a co-worker you don’t like, or you let an angry customer ruin your day, it’s important to regain your personal power. Guarding your time, and staying away from a negative person’s space can help lower your stress level. 

This information becomes even more important if you are the main caregiver for a loved one. If stress isn’t addressed, it can lead to health problems, such as depression, anxiety, obesity and serious chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, experts say.  It can also lead to burnout, which can end up limiting the care you’re able to provide to your loved one. While it’s natural to focus on the health of your loved one who needs extra assistance, it’s just as important to focus on yourself. Be proactive in recognizing signs of stress and do something about it, this will not only help yourself but in-the end will benefit your family members.

 

#stressrelief #homecare #caremanagement #28yearsofservice #seniorcare #caregivers

 

 

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