Stress is the number one enemy for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Taking care of a loved one with Alzhiemer’s disease (AD) puts caregivers in a higher risk category for physcial and mental disorders (such as depression). Here are more tips to help combat stress in the everyday lives of AD caregivers.
3.Employ visualization-studies indicated calm, relaxing visualization is highly effective in reducing stress. Dr. Gerald Epstein M.D., author of the book “Healing visualizations,” suggests the following:
“Close your eyes, take three long, slow breaths, and spend a few seconds picturing a relaxing scene, such as walking in a meadow, kneeling by a brook, or lying on the beach. Focus on the details—the sights, the sounds, the smells.”
4.Get a message-or perform a self-message. Simply performing a self-massage on the palm of the hand is enough to promote relaxation says Maria Hernandez-PH. D, of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
5.Consider stress reducing supplements or tonics-consult with a licensed homeopath to learn about supplements that have been found to reduce the effects of stress son the body such as Ayurveda supplements.
6.Practice assertiveness-taking the stance of the victim in life’s situations can increase feelings of hopelessness and stress. It’s much more empowering to think positively and try to focus on the solution, not so much on the problem. Speaking up instead of being passible aggressive is a good way to fight stress.
7.Smile-it sounds kind of hokey, but smiling transmits nerve impulses to the limbic system of the brain (the primary emotional center), promoting tranquility inducing neurotransmitters.
8.Meditate or do Yoga-meditation and yoga have been found to reduce risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease (such as high blood pressure).
9.Escape from stressful situations-although it is not always possible to escape life’s stressful situations, it’s vital to unplug from time to time. Taking time to unwind and detach from work, news, the phone and internet (even if it’s only for very short periods of time) is a great stress reduction strategy.
10.Self-care-take time to read a book, watch your favorite movie, listen to music, go for a walk or engage in a fun social activity. Scheduling regular “me time” is an effective way to fight stress, particularly for those with very busy schedules such as Alzheimer’s caregivers.
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