Family caregivers know that planning for regular respite care is an excellent way to combat caregiver stress. Scheduling a weekend break by calling on other family members, hiring caregiver support, or arranging for respite care in a local assisted living community are excellent long-range weekend plans.
However, it’s equally important to schedule mini-breaks several times a day in order to recharge, refresh and maintain a perspective that allows you to focus on a quality relationship with your aging parent or other loved one.
The old Dr Pepper slogan suggested a refreshing soda break at 10 a.m, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. We have a few healthier ideas for a quick 5-minute break:
1. Enjoy a high protein snack.
A handful of unsalted nuts, a slice of low fat cheese and a few grapes make a refreshing snack that adds pep to your morning or afternoon.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Coffee may be tempting, but the Texas heat requires that you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Hydrating fluids help keep your energy levels up.
3. Indulge in a cat nap.
A quick nap refreshes and rejuvenates while clearing your mind and resting your eyes.
4. Read an inspirational message or meditation.
Inspirational messages or meditations give us a positive focus when our outlook may not be so cheery.
5. Journal or blog.
Writing your thoughts helps you focus on the positives or purge the negatives. Also, sharing your odyssey with friends and family is an excellent way to broaden your support network.
There’s no doubt that caregiving is a full-time job and we know that the care needs of your loved one may make it difficult to find time for yourself. However, we hope that you will make scheduling breaks as much of a priority as scheduling daily caregiving tasks.