The holiday season can be busy and stressful and that makes it even more important for those taking care of a loved one to get the rest that they need. Rest is able to heal your body, reduce stress and the body’s responses to stress, boost creativity, and enhance decision making. These are extremely beneficial to the overall health of overwhelmed family caregivers during the holiday season. These four tips can help you get the rest you need during the holiday season and all throughout the year.
- Take deep breaths and practice gratitude. Deep breaths help to regulate the stressed nervous system and lower blood pressure as well as pulse rate. Practicing gratitude includes reminding ourselves that we have the opportunity to take care of a loved one rather than the negative mindset of I’m required to take care of a loved one. This simple thought-reframing exercise focuses on the present and allows us to be mindful of our unique circumstances.
- Cultivate healthy personal habits. Shower regularly, eat balanced meals, get some exercise, treat yourself occasionally to small but impactful things such as a well-crafted coffee, tea, or other beverage, or use a bath bomb/shower steamer to use your sense of smell to encourage deep breathing and relaxation.
- Practice sleep hygiene. Even though taking care of others creates a struggle with being able to get deep, restful sleep, it is extremely important that you have good sleep hygiene to get the best sleep that you can. Stop use of electronic devices 30 minutes before bed. Read a physical book or listen to music in a dimly lit room to further prepare your brain and body for sleep. Finally, keep your sleeping area cool, dark, and quiet.
- Consider using a professional service for respite care. Caregiving uses vast amounts of physical, mental, and emotional energy. A company like Griswold Home Care connects you with experienced caregivers who provide respite care service, allowing you to take a break to take care of yourself yet have the peace of mind your loved one will be well-cared for. Griswold Home Care of Greater Orlando refers professional caregivers who offer both daytime and overnight respite care to accommodate the needs of the those who have been taking care of their friend or family member. They can give you a few hours one afternoon to get in some exercise and a relaxing bath or shower, or they can stay overnight to give you an uninterrupted night of sleep.
It doesn’t take much to recharge the personal batteries, but the hard part is convincing caregivers that it is ok to ask for help. You will be a better caregiver when you take the time to meet your needs, particularly during the busy holiday season. For more information on the respite care options available through Griswold Home Care, contact them at (407) 638-8116.