This is a sponsored post for Vive Health. I have been compensated for sharing it with you. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
Don’t worry, this post isn’t an ambiguous guide to caregiver stress relief with vague tips like “Try not to stress so much.” Caregivers know that fighting stress and anxiety is key to maintaining mental and physical health – so you can stay in tip-top shape to take care of your loved one. It’s easier said than done, however. Get inspired with these 4 real-world, practical ideas that can truly get your spring off to a bright and stress-free start:
Soak Up Smells: The fragrant plants and flowers which accompany spring remind us of how calming and relaxing a wonderful scent can be. Aromatherapy can play a key role as a stress reliever for you and your loved one as pleasing scents have been shown to stimulate areas of the brain associated with emotion.
Whether it’s a new scent diffuser or simply a strong candle with a scent you love, filling your home with therapeutic olfactory gratification is a great way to permeate your environment with peace and calm. Scents like lavender, lemon grass, cinnamon, jasmine, and eucalyptus have been shown to improve mood, boost focus and productivity, as well as help alleviate headaches and fight fatigue.
Color: Coloring, really? Absolutely! Coloring has become widely popular in the past few years for adults and seniors – why? Because it is a proven stress-reliever that helps you focus your thoughts and actions in a creative and productive way. Caregiving can be so full of unknowns, unexpected turns in events or sudden changes in the condition of your loved one. Fifteen minutes of coloring while your child sleeps, for example, gives you the opportunity to tap into your artistic brain, focus on pleasing images and colors, and think only about sticking inside the lines and creating something beautiful.
Save Money: Simply put, a constant stress for many caregivers is money. Medicine, treatments, equipment – they all cost money. Not to mention giving up your own job or source of income to stay home and provide full-time care for your loved one. Spring opens the window to a handful of money-making opportunities to help put cash back in your pocket.
Garage or yard sale – Join your community or neighborhood yard sale this spring to get rid of gently used items you no longer use or need and give your bank account a little boost. Or, if that takes too much time and work, consider selling more high-dollar items you’re willing to get rid of online on the Facebook marketplace, eBay or Craigslist.
Pet-sitting – If you’re able to, pet-sitting for someone while they are on vacation (either housing the pet or walking to a neighbor’s to feed/walk their pet) can be a good way to make $20 – $40 a day.
Light gardening – Assisting a neighbor in need with light gardening like planting flowers at the walk or watering plants while they’re on vacation can be a quick and easy way to make money during spring and summer too.
Spring Clean: Decluttering and tackling a whole spring cleaning venture can seem overwhelming, whether you’re caring for someone 24/7 or not. For caregivers, however, spring cleaning can be a time of productive and even anxiety-reducing activity. Clutter, be it objects, furniture, or simply piles of bills and mail on the kitchen counter, can serve as representations of your own stress and feelings you have trouble letting go of – guilt, disappointment, sadness. Ridding the environment (you spend so much time in caring for your loved one) of clutter can be a rejuvenating first step to alleviating chronic stress.
Large medical equipment, stocks of supplies, hospital beds, wheelchairs . . . all of these items can take up quite a bit of room and you certainly can’t get rid of them. So what type of clutter can you manage to lose? Think small, manageable pieces. Perhaps a large dresser that doesn’t get much use can be given away and clothes stored more efficiently in hanging organizers or shelves in the closet? Can those piles of papers, bills, and mail be sorted through and filed as needed? One top spring cleaning reminder – don’t overdo it. Use helpful tools like your reacher grabber to pick up smaller objects in hard to reach places, and arm-length rubber gloves to protect your hands and skin from harsh cleaning chemicals, dirt, and germs.
No matter where you find stress-relief this spring, soak it in, rinse and repeat. If a 15-minute walk in the sun does the trick, keep it up and try scheduling that break in every day. If coloring helps you find calm before bed each night, stock up on coloring books and colored pencils. Football legend Ralph Marston once said, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Nothing is truer to that statement than finding even the smallest activity or thing that helps you de-stress.
What do you do to relax and fight stress? Leave a comment below!