Caring for a loved one can be rewarding yet difficult. Many caregivers admit that at times caring for their elder can leave them feeling overwhelmed and stressed. While you may not be able to leave your elder unattended for more than a few minutes, there are several quick ways to de-stress that take 30 minutes or less. Some of the activities below can also be enjoyed with your elder, and may help reduce stress for both of you.
10-20-30 Minutes of Shared De-Stressing Activities with Your Elder
- Put on your favourite music and enjoy a song or two together. A little distraction may be just what’s needed.
- Go for a stroll around the block. Fresh air and sunshine can work wonders for both of you!
- Flip through the family photo albums together.
- Sketch, draw, doodle, or paint; You are never too old to be artsy.
- Watch YouTube videos; everyone loves a funny cat video or a cute baby!
- Do hand massages with your elder.
- Start a garden, even if it’s a little indoor window garden that you have to move close to your elder for them to tend. Having a little responsibility will be good for your elder and help them feel like they have a purpose. If you are able to plant outdoors, getting out in nature, digging in the dirt, and watering the plants can be very enjoyable and relaxing for the whole family.
- Have a warm cup of tea. You may want to avoid teas with caffeine though (unless hyper grandma is what you’re going for).
10-20-30 Minutes of You Time on Your Own
If you are able to get away on your own for a few minutes, the following activities can help you relax a little.
- Take a quick bubble bath. Even if it is the middle of the day, you deserve a little pampering!
- Meditate; If you haven’t ever tried it before you may be hesitant, but don’t be surprised if you end up enjoying it enough to do regularly.
- Call an old friend. Caring for a family member can take a lot of time and leave you feeling isolated from the outside world. The next time you have 30 minutes alone, use that time to catch up with an old friend.
- Spend a few minutes reading. It can be a book, a magazine, or your favourite blog.
- Take the dog for a jog around the block, try Zumba, or find another way to get your heart pumping. Regular exercise, even just 30 minutes a few times a week, can make a big difference in how you feel mentally.
- Plan a vacation! Even if it will be months (or a year) until you can travel, just having something positive to plan and look forward to can brighten your mood. If you’re going to take grandma, check out our article Travelling with Grandma: The Do’s and Don’ts. If you know you won’t be able to get away, plan a staycation.
- Take a power nap. Sometimes 30 minutes of rest can turn your day around!
- Write; start a journal, write a short story, write a letter to an old friend, or make your grocery list. It doesn’t matter what you write, just get that pencil to paper. Writing is a great distraction and relaxation technique.
- Try something new! Eldercare takes a lot of time and it’s likely you’ve put activities you want to try on the backburner. The next time you have 30 minutes, run to the library for a book on a new hobby or watch YouTube instructional videos. Nowadays you can learn almost anything on the internet without having to leave the house.
What activities above will you try either alone or with your elder to de-stress? Do you have any great ideas that we missed? If you have an idea or a comment, please leave it below. We LOVE comments, and yours could help others who are dealing with caregiver stress.