Learning to Unwind

As a caregiver, you are often advised to find time for yourself. But sometimes, it can be harder to truly “relax” than it is to find the time. When you’re so used to taking care of your family, it can be hard to switch over into “me” mode – but it’s crucial to avoid burnout. It’s up to you to break out of the idea of being a perfect caregiver, give yourself some credit, and allow yourself a break! Doing so is in the best interest of your loved one, your family, your friends, and yourself. Here are some tips for meaningful relaxation:

-Completely remove yourself from the caregiver situation when you are able. Disconnect from the technology that keeps you in constant touch. Go into “Airplane Mode” and stay off the grid. Try putting your phone in a designated space that is off limits for an hour.

-Try meditation or prayer to slow down your brain. Focus on just one thought, image, or memory and breathe deeply as you do so. Try this for just a minute or two and notice how your body feels.

-Just be a daughter, son, or spouse. Be purposeful about making visits that aren’t to “take care of business,” but just to be together and enjoy.

-Do something fun for yourself. When’s the last time you did something that made you smile out of pure enjoyment? Often this can be physical activity, but not for fitness reasons – like dancing!

Healthy detachment is a skill to be learned – it takes practice, intention, and attention. Become a pro at unwinding this year.

Marilyn Rippetoe, LCSW

Director of Family Services

Join us on the 2nd Monday of each month for Caregiver Connect in the Highlands Activity Room from 6:30-8:00pm.

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