Caregiver anxiety? Try these nine simple coping tips.
Everybody experiences a little anxiety from time to time. But caregiving can create a whole lot of anxiety.
Anxiety affects people in different ways. Some people have trouble breathing. For others, their heart races and their muscles tense.
If you find yourself overwhelmed, try these simple tips for coping with caregiver anxiety:
1. Distract yourself.
In your scary situation, just don’t think about where you are or what you’re doing. Sometimes, living in reality is overrated. With practice, you can get to the point where it’s almost like you aren’t even in the situation that’s causing your anxiety.
Stress and anxiety both release the same hormone: adrenaline. When you exercise, you are breaking up this hormone, helping your anxiety levels go down.
3. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol.
Both are stimulants and will only make your anxiety worse. Instead, turn to drinks like herbal tea, milk and water. Some foods that also help to bring down your anxiety levels include nuts, berries, yogurt, legumes, and dark orange vegetables.
Simply focus on relaxing one part of your body at a time; nothing else. Tune out everything going on around you and count each breath you take. You don’t have to sit in a lotus position or chant to benefit from a quick meditation. And even a three-minute meditation can make a big difference in how you feel.
5. Break down the hours into minutes.
Instead of stressing yourself out about what you’re going to do in the future, focus on the seconds and minutes you are living in right now. This will help to eliminate worries and anxiety you have when you are anticipating an event in the future.
6. Use visual anchors.
If you feel yourself getting anxious, find something that brings a sense of calm to you and just focus on it. For example, if you find yourself stuck in traffic, you can look up at the clouds to help you feel calmer.
7. Repeat a mantra or affirmation.
Simply repeat over and over in your head a phrase that brings you calmness and peace, like: “I am enough” or “I can do this.”
8. Write a love letter to yourself.
Write yourself a letter about how calm and capable you are. Pretend you are writing to a good friend. What would you tell her about how wonderful she is?
Distract and center yourself with your favorite coloring book or page!
Caregiving can create a whole lot of anxiety. If you find yourself overwhelmed, try these simple tips for coping.
What are your favorite coping tips?