The holiday period can be stressful for anyone, but managing stress when caring for a family member can be especially difficult. It’s important to identify the stresses in your life before they become overwhelming, Afea has put together our top tips for self-care over the festive season.

We all know the importance of keeping healthy and staying active is the simplest way to reduce stress and take care of yourself. Filling your body with the right nutrients can help to keep you alert, while exercising regularly will allow your body to relax and restart to prepare for anything life throws your way. The simple act of taking a stroll when you start to feel stressed will help to clear your mind and gain perspective.

Nothing beats a good night’s sleep. Sleep is the ultimate stress management tool, adults who catch less than 8 hours per night are more likely to report symptoms of stress. Understanding how stress and sleep are connected is the path to getting a handle on the problem. Explore more ways to wind down and relax before bed, a few minutes of meditation, reading or listening to music can help you ease into sleep allowing for a more restful night.

Find your own path, it’s important to learn what has worked to relax you in the past. Our greatest tip is to take time out of your day to reset and recharge. Try to do one thing you enjoy each day and make sure to spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Practise relaxation techniques. Close your eyes and breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat ten times. This is a way of switching off and lowering your heart-rate, even if just for a few moments.

Caring is a full-time job that can take a toll emotionally. Remember, just because you are caring for someone it does not mean you can’t take time out to care for yourself. Talk openly with family and friends about how you’re feeling. Let off steam and encourage them to do the same, it may also help to speak to a professional to help guide you through your personal stresses. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious make sure to ask for help. At Afea, our passionate and dedicated carers come from a range of different backgrounds and specialisations to help make both yours and your loved ones’ lives easier.

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