If you work as a caregiver, you’re no stranger to stress. Some days, caring for patients can make you feel like a big bundle of nerves. After your shift, you might have a hard time winding down, because your brain is still in work mode. This can make it hard to relax, enjoy your time off, and maintain a healthy sleep schedule – which all leads to even more stress.
If this sounds familiar, consider trying new ways to decompress. Taking a little time every day to slow down can help you feel calmer, happier, and less anxious. And when you’re mentally healthy, you’ll be able to show up better for your patients, friends, family, and – most importantly – yourself.
The next time you’re feeling frazzled after a long workday, give these tips a try:
It can be tempting to numb out in front of your phone or TV after a long day. But try not to rely too heavily on screen time to de-stress. Too much can make it hard to fall asleep, mess with concentration, and distract you from coming up with healthier, more beneficial ways to manage stress.
Oftentimes, writing down how you’re feeling helps relieve stress right away. It gives you a little distance from your negative thoughts and provides clarity around your stress triggers. Gaining this insight can help you figure out more helpful ways to handle stress in the future.
Moving your body floods your system with mood-boosting hormones. It also helps decrease cortisol, the hormone that contributes to chronic stress. You don’t need to be a marathon runner to reap the stress-relieving benefits of regular exercise. A quick walk, yoga session, or bike ride will do – anything that feels good and gets your heart pumping.
4. Talk to a friend
It’s really helpful to have someone to talk to when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s a partner, friend, or therapist, allowing yourself to open up about whatever you’re struggling with can make you feel instantly better. Instead of bottling up your stress, you’ll have a chance to voice how you’re feeling, and get feedback from someone with a fresh perspective.
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