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Keep Stress at Bay

Stress is a big problem facing most caregivers, especially when Alzheimer’s disease is in the picture. Here’s how to keep stress to a minimum.

Yoga can be an effective stress reducer.

Yoga can be an effective stress reducer.

Let’s face it: Stress is a natural part of life. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. A little pressure can inspire us to make necessary changes, to try something new, or to take a big next step in a career path, to name only a few examples.

But it doesn’t take much to push stress past “the red line,” to the point at which stress becomes disconcerting or even disabling. In providing care for a person with Alzheimer’s, that point can come quickly. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for stress and for dealing with stress so it doesn’t become a burden. After all, it’s important to take care of yourself in mind, body, and spirit.

One of the biggest de-stressing techniques can be a very simple one: relaxing. Relaxation is good for everyone, and a necessary part of life in what can be a high-stress environment. Time for relaxation is often the first thing that gets squeezed out of a schedule when we get busy, but it’s important to make time for it.

Relaxation can be as simple as listening to favorite music while sitting in a comfortable chair, or enjoying a cherished hobby. Some people find keeping a journal to be a relaxing pursuit. For others, relaxation exercises, such as tai chi or yoga, are the preferred route.

Exercise is another great way to keep stress at a minimum.

Exercise is another great way to keep stress at a minimum.

There’s plenty you can do to help yourself use your relaxation time more effectively. Consider these steps:

By Sam Gaines

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