So many situations as a caregiver can send you into a super-stressed mode very quickly. You’re likely to spend a good bit of time anxious and on edge anyway, so the last thing you need is more stress.
Walk Away for a Minute or Two
One easy way to stop serious stress immediately is to walk away for a minute or two. If you’re on the phone with someone who is spiking your stress, ask to call them back. Go walk around for a second or two and breathe slowly. Return to the situation and see if you’re still at high alert levels of stress.
Take a Bigger Break
Sometimes you’ve taken that quick break and it didn’t help. Now you might need to take a bigger break in general. Make sure that your senior is in a safe situation and then take that break. Don’t put it off until a better or more convenient time. You need it right now, so take it.
Solve What Can Be Solved Right Now
Almost every situation has at least one aspect of it that can be solved right this minute. Look for whatever that is in this situation and put a solution in place. Once you’ve done that, table the rest of it. You’re not going to be able to force a situation if there isn’t one right now. Approaching the issue with a cooler head later is going to help.
Take Deep, Slow Breaths Until You Feel Calmer
Your breathing is an underrated stress relief tool. When you’re stressed, your breathing tends to become more shallow and faster, until you might be close to hyperventilating. Count to five on an inhale and then count to five again on your exhale. That might be tough at first, so work up to it. Gradually you’ll notice that your muscles will relax and your breathing will even out even more.
Hand the Situation Over to Someone Else
It’s not always possible in every situation as a caregiver, but find someone else that you can turn this problem over to. Perhaps there’s a family member who can solve the paperwork nightmare, for instance, or who can deal with whatever has caused you immense stress. Let them handle it if they can.
The better you manage the low-end stress in your life as a caregiver, the easier it’s going to be to manage the immediate, heavy stress. Try some of these practices more often to resolve the lower end of your stress spectrum and see if they help everywhere.