By Karen Weeks
Caregiving and Self-Care
Tending to the responsibilities of caregiving can be overwhelming. This is why it’s crucial to find practices that tame some of the constant stress. Meditation and yoga may be the perfect tools for doing just that. If you are still on the fence about adding these self-care activities to your routine, you need to read through these important tips.
A Meditation Space Can Bring Calm Into Any Home
One of the most practical ways to make yoga and meditation a part of your daily routine is to create your own sacred meditation space inside your home. Select a spare room or a comfortable space that is away from distractions. The noise from televisions or even neighbors outside can make it difficult to focus on your breath, so it’s important to minimize these elements in your home meditation space. This will be an area for calm and relaxation in your daily routine, so you should also consider adding elements to boost your comfort when using it. A cozy yoga mat is the most basic equipment you will need, but many seasoned yogis also choose to use cushions, inspiring artwork, and soothing light to bring this space together.
Light plays a critical role in mood regulation, so opt for softer light sources to reduce the intensity of your emotions during your yoga and meditation practice. Candles and lamps are a good way to bring light to this space, but seniors with low vision may need a little extra brightness to help prevent falls and accidents. Scent also has the power to promote relaxation, so educate yourself on the best aromas for stress relief. Then, put their powers to good use in your practice with an oil diffuser or candles.
Apps and Online Tutorial Make It Easy for You to Get Started
If you Google “yoga and meditation,” the resulting images can make it intimidating to begin these helpful practices. The truth is that it is easy for seniors and caregivers to begin their journey of stress relief, and current technology makes learning much easier. Mindful meditations can be more challenging than they look, but using effective apps can help beginners bring attention to their breath and quiet the mind. With these apps, you can set the intent of your meditation session, as well as the time you have to practice each day. Begin with shorter guided meditations so that you can practice mindfulness before moving on to longer sessions.
There are also apps that offer yoga tutorials, but you may find it more beneficial to use YouTube videos to help perfect your poses. You can find videos to match any experience level or ability, and there are options to help those with limited physical mobility. Yoga for seniors consists of gentle movements and breathing practices that help relieve tension, without putting additional stress on the body. With apps and online videos, there really is a practice for everyone.
Stress Relief Is Worth Taking Time to Practice
Once you get into a regular routine, yoga and meditation are fairly easy ways to relieve stress, but beginning any new habit is always a bit of a challenge. You have to remind yourself of the true need for stress relief in your life and how these practices can address those needs. Yoga and meditation can mitigate the effects of caregiver stress and may even prevent anxieties that lead to burnout. However, if you are already exhibiting signs of burnout, you need to seek out additional support to help you recover. Feeling overwhelmed, overly irritated or even experiencing physical pain are all symptoms of a potentially serious problem. Look for caregiver resources and support groups to help you through your emotions, and consult your doctor to rule out any underlying health issues. You may also need to find other ways to reduce caregiver stress, such as working out or keeping a journal, to manage excess tension in your life.
You have to take care of yourself to truly take care of others. Meditation and yoga are such effective forms of self-care, so begin your practice and see the benefits to your life.
Photo Credit: Pexels
Karen is a Senior Lifestyle blogger. She created ElderWellness.net as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well.