This piece is presented as part of our partnership with Daily Caring.
Caregivers need regular breaks
Taking regular breaks is essential for caregiver health. Like they say, caregiving is a marathon (or triathlon) so it’s essential to pace yourself for the long haul.
An effective way to pace yourself is to take micro breaks during the day. These tiny breaks will actually fit into your schedule and still benefit your physical and emotional health.
Even a 5-minute break reduces stress
You might think that you have to spend a week vacationing at the beach to reduce stress, but that’s not true at all. Even quick breaks can significantly reduce your stress and improve your overall health.
Taking short breaks throughout the day also helps you be more focused and get more done. For someone with an endless To Do list, that’s music to your ears!
10 ways to take a quick break right now
Here’s a list of our 10 favorite free ways to take very short breaks. You’ll feel better in 5 minutes or less. Give one of these a try today!
- Close your eyes, slow your breathing, and count slowly to 10 and then back down to 1. Repeat.
- Drink a glass of water. Dehydration makes you tired, headachy, and cranky.
- Do a 2 or 5 minute guided meditation at the free website com(or see our guide to the free Calm.com mobile app).
- Follow this 5 minute relaxing stretch videoyou can do at your desk or chair.
- Listen to some upbeat music.
- Take a 5 min walk outside. If you can’t leave your older adult alone, just step outside the door and breathe some fresh air, leaving it open so you can still keep an eye on them.
- Do a brain dump. Get all your thoughts out on paper. Don’t worry about being organized, neat, or even making sense. Just start writing stuff down on paper and don’t stop until your brain is clear.
- Do some exercise – do 10 squats, 10 jumping jacks, and 10 lunges. Repeat until your body feels energized.
- Start planning a fun activity for yourself. Decide what you want to do, figure out how much time you’ll need, and ask family or friends to help with your senior while you’re doing your fun activity. That could mean going for a massage, taking a long walk, having a nice meal out, seeing a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, etc. This may take a few 5 minute breaks to get planned, but it will be worth it!
- Watch a funny video like the best of the TV show Wipeout (an obstacle game show) with hilarious commentary.