What are some ways caregivers can relieve stress?

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The best way I can think of is to have a life outside of the whole care taking thing. Don't lose touch with friends, stay in touch and get out once in awhile. Start exercising, whether that would be joining a place like Curves or a regular gym. Or they say walking is still the best exercise. That, and I'd suggest getting an IPOD or an MP3 player, load it up with your favorite music, plug in and tune out. Basically don't become a recluse during this time, it's too depressing.
neahton thats great advice:0)
Wow, I needed to hear that. I have isolated myself from just about everything as I am either too tired or too depressed to do anything but work and go home and deal with whatever weirdness my Dad has gotten into. He is 90 with mild/moderate Alzheimer's.
I watch funny vids on youtube. I play video games. I go to parks to sit and relax near or under the trees and/or go hiking.
Soak 20-30 minutes in warm tub, with two cups of table salt & few drops of Lavender essential oil dissolved in the water. It's calming, time alone, and the salt removes negative energy. Best to rinse salt water off of you before getting out to prevent dry skin.

Epsom salt can be used however, it is actually NOT salt. It is magnesium which does not remove negative energy. It does help with aches though.

After being a massage therapist for almost 17 years, this is one question that I can answer with confidence. :-)
You can get a regular massage from a chain (monthly appts), an independent therapist who has a private office (quieter, less rush, usually more serene), or for those on a tight budget, find a local massage school and use their heavily discounted services. Btw, sometimes hospice will have massage therapist volunteers who can come in and provide a massage for your loved one as well.
Beyond this, you can: get a full spa pedicure (hot towel wrap, mud mask, and extra massage), get your hair redone (new cut or color can do wonders to lift moods) (call a hair school if you are on a tight budget), find a local yoga class for beginners offering a special price ($5 per class or a free class), take in a matinee movie all alone, go to your favorite restaurant (or a new one!) and sit in the quietest spot possible, take a long drive and sing your heart out, find a local park where you can feed the ducks or walk a trail (mild exercise is excellent for depression), spend 10 minutes lying quietly right before bed with your eyes closed and palms over your eyes while taking slow breaths. I will say that if your stress is really bad that you will need to do a stress relieving activity every day or twice a day for at least a week to make a big change. Sit down with a piece of paper and create yourself a rest and relax "schedule" for a week with your choice of activities every day. Keep it simple and doable. Slip away for a few minutes after work, before going home, to decompress. If you're always at home, try to get out instead. Keep it simple and doable. Love yourself and refill your own cup. If guilt is an issue, then just keep it private. This time really is just for you - and that is completely OK. Being refreshed will make you a much better caregiver.

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