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I find fiction books that can not happen in real life the best.
A zombie outbreak cannot happen. A space opera cannot happen. A fiction book with a plot that could happen is bad because I start comparing it to my life.

Smoking kills 15 minutes.

I have not had success with meditation. Will try again. Saw a YouTube video on zen. Looked interesting.

Mixed results with exercise. I start missing the outside.

Spotify is nice but have to play it soft so I can hear if grandma starts coughing so it loses some enjoyment.

How do all of you maintain?

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I don't have it nearly as bad as most people here (I'm not a caregiver myself), but if you are an animal lover I would suggest a 24/7 live stream. If you like cats/kittens check out kitten.academy/ website I don't have any of the live streams on other animals on hand but there are a lot out there, usually you can find them on youtube. I find that my grandmother really enjoys kitten academy so I usually pull it up on my phone when I visit. If you are living with them and they like animals you could stream it on a tv and both enjoy it? Just an idea.
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I read or cook. It helps me relax and unwind.
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Listen to books on tape (with a CD player and headphones; it's quiet and folks tend to leave you alobe with them on...pick a bright color set): Josephine Tey, Martha Grimes, Barbara Cleverly, really creepy and gory and graphic Patricia Cornwall...do 100 kegels (gently), learn the ukelele, get a cheesy electric piano and play it (with headphones), read or reread Harry Potter, listen (with headphone)...to P.G. Wodehouse's "Wooster & Jeeves series (hilarious British nincompoops). To name just few distractions.
Good luck.
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I visit Mom for a week or so every month. She normally has CNAs 24/7, but I cut back to three hours in the morning when I'm there, so I can go for a walk or jog and run errands, just to get away from the constant attention she needs. I put her baby monitor in the room where she watches TV and the receiver in the kitchen, so I can hear her while I'm cooking, doing laundry, watching TV or reading. A nightcap (cocktail) and reading a few chapters of a book after I've put her in bed helps me to wind down so I can get some sleep before she gets up in the night.
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TiredReader I've gone through cycles in my reading, enjoying different genres at different points in my life. At one time I loved Stephen King et al, I've read a lot of classic lit (Jayne Eyre etc), had my fill of SF with authors like Asimov and Anne McCaffery, I've reread the Tolkien trilogy so many times I had it practically memorized. The last decade or so I'm mostly into mystery and fantasy... Laurie R King, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Nevada Barr, Sara Paretsky, Karen Slaughter, Carol O'Connell....
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Cwillie, ever read Black Tide Rising series by John Ringo. It's a rather good zombie book. Also the historical fiction, The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson is looooong but good. Both have strong women protagonists.

What's your poison?
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I can't wait to get in bed with a big bowl of popcorn and a good book. I like books with strong women protagonists; SF, fantasy, mystery or basic lit, just give me a character I can connect with and a world I can lose myself in.

And sometimes a strong drink helps too.
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Anything that involves repetitive movement, for real. Try not to make noises that will bother others, which may depend on who can hear you. Some people may love to hear you play the bongo drums for hours, but the bongos could drive other people bonkers in mere minutes. So then you might try using the drumsticks on a cushion, pretending the cushion is a drum, and get the same satisfaction from creating the rhythm without making much noise.

Or you can knit, crochet, weave, spin, cross stitch, needle point, or braid.

Practice walking as quietly as possible while pacing back and forth.

Practice touch typing exercises on a computer keyboard to build your skills in case you ever need to get a job as a keyboarder or a secretary.

Learn shorthand. Learn braille and how to use a brailler and get a job transcribing books for the blind or notes for blind students - schools may have someone taking notes for blind students who then need the notes put into a form that the student can read.

You know what movements you can do where you are, and how much noise you can or cannot make. Any movement, done repeatedly for an extended period of time, tends to relax a human being. Even brushing your own hair or someone else's hair. Many other animals also find the same sorts of movements soothing, and it tends to lower blood pressure, too. Often better than medicine for lowering blood pressure, at least as long as you do not pressure yourself about doing the movement "well enough".
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cwillie, off the top of my head I recommend these two. They're the last two of that genre I re-read. Can't remember other books and too tired to get up and check. Lol

Starship Troopers by Heinlein. It's probably the most popular book of his. It's a single book too so you don't have to hunt down the next in a series.

Old Mans War by John Scalzi was good too but it was a series of 4??
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Hmm, I've never come across the term Space Opera before, (I had to google it) which is kind of odd since I have read a fair amount of it in my day. I've mostly abandoned the whole genre since libraries started lumping fantasy and Sci-Fi into the same section - endless books about vampires/sex/fighting without any discernible plot - and it seems that authors write infinite series rather than books which can stand alone - it gives me a headache just trying to find something interesting that they actually stock from books 1 through 12....
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*tries to do bendy yoga*
*hears suspicious cracking sounds*
*flops around like a tuna*
x.x

Space opera!!!! Ever read Empire of man series by David Weber and John ringo? It's sorta space opera. I just re-listened to the audiobook.

Ecigarette perhaps?
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Space opera YA!
I go for a small walk and stare at the sky.
I have no privacy or place to be alone so i cannot do anything to relax, not even a nap without earplugs... quit smoking so no more that. Loom knitting..
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The book may still have value for the breathing techniques, meditations, visualizations--it's not all about twists and weird poses and stretches. Some things can be done sitting. The object is to quiet the mind (easier said than done :)
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Can't do yoga. I have hypermobility. I do on occasion follow these Pilates videos by an evil sadist on YouTube. Nobody should be that cheery exercising.
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you might want to get a copy of a new book entitled: "Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress relief in a Minute or Less". Author: Carol Krucoff. You do not have to have any yoga experience to benefit from this book. Some yoga exercises(with pictures) are included. I found the breathing information and stretching information very helpful.
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Dear Tiredreader,

I hear you. Being a full time caregiver is tough. It is so important to find that balance. For myself, I mostly surfed the Internet. I would play Pacman. Or read a book. I would go shopping and look for things for my family and friends. Even then I don't know how much of a break I was really giving myself. I started feeling stuck. I wanted to help, but I also had anger and resentment about it. I think I should have gotten counseling sooner or looked at joining a support group. In hindsight, I should have done something different. If you like reading daily inspirational quotes, I would consider checking out the website Tiny Buddha.
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