Caring for someone else, regardless of age, is a stressful job. Combine this with caring for an aging adult, often with physical or mental limitations, and the stress becomes significantly amplified. Caregivers are special individuals who serve a great need, making it all the more important to be intentional about taking action each and every day to reduce work-related stress.
If you are a caregiver, you don’t have to feel helpless against your stress. Here are five tips you can use to reduce stress so that you can focus on the joyful aspects of your job!
- Set Boundaries on the First Day
The start of a client relationship is the perfect time to set professional boundaries. You can demonstrate empathy to the client by providing compassionate care when you are with them. Then, when your shift ends, set boundaries with yourself to let go of client concerns when you walk out the door. Try to remind yourself you are not obligated to think about the client outside of your professional relationship. This will give your mind a much needed break.
- Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Though you spend much of your day taking care of someone else’s health, you must also prioritize taking care of your own! Engage in some form of physical activity each day. This could be a morning walk, time at the gym or an evening exercise with friends. It doesn’t need to be long or intense, just something to get your body moving and get your mind off your job.
- Find Time to Do Things You Enjoy
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing? Make time for these as part of your weekly routine. You will have something to look forward to that is not at all related to work. These activities will also reinforce your identify of being more than solely a caregiver.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques
Meditation, yoga and stretching are all great relaxation techniques you can easily do in the comfort of your home. Before you start or end your day, take 10 minutes to yourself to refocus. You will enter your job feeling more centered and better able to handle the stress of the day.
- Talk About It
Find a trusted friend or family member who can simply listen. Let them be a sounding board for the things that cause stress in your life. Share your thoughts and concerns that are weighing on you, then let them go. They can also offer advice and insight to reaffirm your actions and decisions. Never underestimate the healing power of talking to a good friend!
Do you have additional tips for reducing work-related stress? We’d love to hear your ideas!