Coping with stress is a constant challenge for caregivers. Coping mechanisms that are actually realistic for caregivers is a pretty frequent topic of conversation. Here are some of the suggestions that came up recently.
After the day I had, tonight it was a glass of wine and later ice cream with a banana and chocolate syrup. I know, not good! But it helped — LOL – Deb
I make a cup of tea when I get home, then snuggle up with my cat & listen to her purr. If that doesn’t work, vodka! – Jen
I am not in a position to take time off. What this means is my brain will not let me rest by staying in a hotel room, or anything like this. It has to be short lived, such as being able to drive on my own to get stuff done, where I decide to stop and watch movie or pick up a treat. After 7 years of living like this, the means to cope with stress have been worked in. No, it doesn’t always work. I have found for myself, I need to give myself permission to fall apart and if it is an off day, so be it. I know, easier said than done. The bathroom with the handicap style shower, with a place to sit and rails, I have set up to have a spa feeling. I have similar relaxing plans for the garden. The porch on the other side is being groomed to be a place to sit and relax, since dad likes to read outside. – Brieya
Spend a few quiet moments in bed before getting up in the morning, using that time to scroll through Facebook and Pinterest. Do a daily morning workout and yoga in my bedroom in the AM while mom is doing YouTube chair yoga in the other room. Listen to some positive Pandora music when showering and getting dressed. Take mom to the park or the beach to soak up some Vitamin D. Read when I have free time. Enjoy an evening walk with my husband and return to a nice glass of red wine. – Paola
I cope with God, wine, and music!!! – Mayra
A nice long drive in my car ? – Naomi
Tomorrow is another day and I will be there to help, no matter what the day brings. Some days I have a glass of wine or a beer before going to bed. – Mary
Play video games on my phone. Seriously. I am so the bomb at Cooking Dash. I’m amazing! – Kim
Yoga. Prayer. Chocolate. – Carol
Lots of prayer, reading posts on FB with encouragement and positive words, get enough sleep, walking several miles every day, take DHA fish oil and Sam-E, listen to music and sing along with the radio. – Sheron
Get lost in a good book, bike on my recumbent bike and sing loudly to favorite songs…and, of course, pray! – Susan
Bubble bath+ buttermint tea! And shopping!? – Jona
I listen to music, talk to one caring friend, go feed my horses–they’re old so it’s all I can do. – Carol
I would LOVE to be able to garden again, but I have become physically disabled due to spinal injury, I can’t do that, so I try and get a little bit accomplished around the house, in addition to caring for hubby, before I mindlessly play solitaire on my phone. – Kathryn
I work outside about an hour a day in my flowerbeds and garden. And I tend to do it when my husband is napping. Therefore I have peace and quiet. – Stephanie
Writing. I hope to one day write a book on my experience as a caregiver. – Sara
Try to go for a run(as if)…try to do sewing for myself or my children…otherwise, go into function mode and get on with what must be done. – Tracey
Gardening! And the occasional shopping trip, on or off-line, and oh yessss the choc-o-lat-tayyy!!! – Wendy
Long hikes in the woods is the best way for me right now. – Penny
Chocolate and talking to my sweet golden retriever. Unfortunately he’s old and wearing down along with my hubby. I can’t even go there… – Debra
I have not de-stressed well at all since my best friend, my dog Diego died 2 years ago at 16.5 years old. He was my zen. He instantly calmed me. We went for walks and snuggled a lot. I’m a 6 hour drive from my husband and have only been able to see him 2-3 times a year for 4 years now. I’m considering leaving my mother (my whole family agrees) as she isn’t open to any options (move up with my husband and I, assisted living) and my mental health has bottomed out. – Salem
I don’t get to relax – my hair has all but fallen completely out – when I can I go visit with my horses which I haven’t ridden in over a year- and my dog sleeps on my bed with me and knows when I’m overdone. – Rusty
I have always used sleep as a way to relieve stress since I was a small child. You could liken this to “freeze” in the fight, flight or freeze adrenal response. It’s harder to get sleep when you’re an adult though. – Jeannine
Real time off
Well after the past 4 years of first taking care of my dad at home until he passed away almost 2 years ago and then taking care of my mom with Alzheimer’s…my therapist suggested if I didn’t take this mere 3 days for just me, I won’t be able to continue at this pace. I really feel like I pushed myself to the edge. And instead of going over the edge I decided to listen to my doctors this time. For the very first time I have reserved a hotel on the beach for 3 days. Where I have instructed my family that during this time….I am not a wife, mother, daughter, caregiver, sister, friend, or anything else. I am disconnecting from my life for 3 glorious days by myself sitting on a beach while watching the waves! – Marianne
I make sure I go away completely by myself for a couple of weekends a year. I find some kind of conference I am interested in a place I would love to see and just go. I do not feel one bit guilty, because I come back refreshed and stronger to deal with life! – Susan
You can read all the responses on our Facebook page.
Church and my rosary.
Already said live in today and walk
Internet and eating too much.
sugar has become my friendemy
I’m 24/7 taking care of mom, just 2 weekends free every month. While I’m home I crochet, meditate, read and paint. Depends on my mood.
I get up early and talk to a friend and meditate and pray. It’s a lonely road.☹️
My job is 24/7 as a caregiver, cannot leave my husband and sure cannot afford to pay anyone to come so I can pay them to do the job. I pray often and I go outside when the weather allows and work in my yard.
Ditto, plus yoga.
would like to try but cannot get away
I don’t so it comes out in my nightly nightmares
Every morning on my way to work and evening on my way home from work. I pray. It does help.
my motorcycle ..
I am on my computer a lot. Talking to my family. And, I like reading all the articles and comments on The Caregiver Space.
sometimes you just have too say what you feel. Get it,
Plenty of rest…coffee and talk therapy.
I used to watch my husband sleeping and remember the man he was and the memories we made. He was always my safe haven even after his stroke. I miss him do much.
It is not about coping it is about getting through w/o loss of mind or body. Been in this for so long and I am tired. However I pray often and when it is not 100 outside I take small pleasure in working in my yard.
It’s very very hard…
I do the serenity prayer a couple times aday , It really helps clear my head
I do that too.
It really helps !
Scream, cry, and talk to myself…then move on and try to find peace for a few minutes of reading, quiet, or music! Thankfully, not everyday and different things trigger but it is what it is!
All true….I am at a low in this cycle. May get to recharge later today. Cannot go much longer at this pace.
Enjoying nature brings me emotional equilibrium. I love providing food in the bird feeders for the birds in my backyard. My family can enjoy this together as well. Also, working in the yard, planting something, and enjoying the beauty plants give back. Caring for the landscape around my home , pulling weeds out, pruning, cutting back the rewards of such physical work are actually POWERLIFTING.️
I refer to this peaceful time as my yard therapy
It will be quiet .when there gone.a awful quiet.god bless all of you.
It is awfully lonely too. I miss my boy. Blessings to you.
You have to take a break.i toke care of my husband and mom.me and my sister.we had to have breaks.but I would do it again
.I miss them both.
When my mom goes to sleep my husband monitors her and I have a break to exercise, do some Zumba video at home…. Thank God for him!!!
I need to wash my hair
And take a shower
But here I sit
Enjoying this quiet hour
I need to put up Meds
And tidy up the room
But I cherish this time
To just be me
There will be plenty to do
Right now I float
In this peaceful place
My mind has brought me to
Hard to let go
there is so much
I really need to do
My mind see saws
Back and forth
Of insulin shots
I need to give
Morning Meds and vitamins
Probiotics and other stuff
We need to live
Soon my hubby will be up
And need to start his day
With me assisting him
In each and every way
Making sure he doesn’t fall
While walking to his chair
Setting all his pillows
Before he sits down there
Making oatmeal and
A nice hot cup of coffee
Maybe a bottle of water
In case he starts coughing
Checking the swelling
In his ankles
If they are swelling
I consider that a warning
As much as I’d love
To stay and chat
Now I must go
Get the important things done
Before my energy gets low
But I love to float
In this peaceful place
My mind brings me to
I see saw back and forth
So much yet to do
Beautiful !! Have a great day !! <3