Relax and Feel Re-Energized This Spring!

April is National Stress Awareness Month.
Stress is a part of all of our lives. A little bit keeps us on
our toes and can help us perform to the best of our
abilities. But caregivers often have more stress than is
manageable and that stress can be overwhelming and
cause health concerns. We’ve all heard of the benefits of
reducing stress to improve our health and “add years to our
lives.” We know we “should” do it, but how can we
realistically manage stress with our busy lifestyles?

There are many ways to reduce and manage stress in your
life. Taking time for yourself not only will help you but will
also benefit those around you by giving you more energy
and patience to deal with all that life throws your way.

The following lists just a few examples of what you can do
when you feel stressed. Many take little time and can
easily fit into your daily routine.

Breathe deeply
When stressed, our breathing often becomes shallow.
Make a conscious effort to deepen your breaths by
“breathing with your belly.” Place your hands on your
stomach and make them rise and fall with each breath. As
you exhale, imagine that you are pushing out all your
frustration.

Listen to soothing music
Check your local library for CDs of classical, instrumental
or relaxation music. Play music softly in the background
while you go about your daily routine or set aside time to
just listen to the music.

Have a massage or a back rub
A massage is a fantastic way to have the stress rubbed
right out of you.

Maintain a healthy diet
Lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains give us energy and
keep our body fueled. Limit caffeine, sugar and junk food
as these can increase our feelings of stress and leave us
feeling “wired.”

Write down your thoughts
You don’t need a fancy journal; just a notebook to write out
your thoughts at the end of each day can do wonders to
release negativity and anxiety.

Get regular exercise
Exercise can help clear your mind and work off feelings of
frustration and anxiety. Something as simple as a daily
walk can leave you feeling more energetic. Try
something new like yoga or Tai Chi. Find a local class or
check out a DVD at your local library to use at home.

Stay connected
Stay in touch with your friends and family and let them
know what’s going on. Ask them for help in giving care.
Look for help in your community. Community services
include meal delivery, transportation, and supportive
home care. To find out about all the helpful services in
your area, call 877-794-2372.

Soak in a warm bath
Add some relaxing bath salts to the warm water to relax
your mind and body.

RELAXING BATH SALTS
½ Cup Salt
1Tbsp Baking soda
1 Tbsp Borax
1/8 tsp Lavender essential oil
1/8 tsp Geranium essential oil
Mix dry ingredients together, then add essential oils. You
can mix in a bowl or put salt in a plastic, self-sealing bag,
add essential oils, then tightly seal the bag. Toss bag
around to distribute oils. Use about ¼ cup per bath.

Enjoy a hobby
Take time for something you really love to do. Whether
it’s knitting, baking or line dancing, take the time to do it.
Take care of yourself to stay well. Often, we don’t realize
that we are becoming stressed until we are already there.
Relaxing needn’t be complicated or expensive, and it
shouldn’t disrupt your daily routine. Instead, incorporate
these tips into your lifestyle and enjoy a healthier, happier
day!

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