Taking Care of ... You!!
Hopefully, you're getting the sense that this site is all about keeping it simple. You probably already know the stats on the percentage of "caregivers" who die before the ones for whom they are caring. You've maybe already heard the admonishment to put on your own oxygen mask first if you expect to be able to help someone else. You've no doubt had well-meaning family and friends suggest the typical stress busters - bubble baths, walks in the park, massage, prayer - that are short-term solutions at best and, believe it or not, can sometimes end up being an additional source of stress.
I am not going to patronize you by offering more of the same. I WILL offer these ideas that have helped me.
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL
Candy Crush Saga phone app (free): Yes, it's mindless, but isn't that the point? This game has been my salvation through excruciatingly long, tiresome emergency room experiences; trying visits with my mom; and late nights of wondering what's next. The graphics and characters are fun and harmless, and the pressure to compete is minimal. Although I've been playing this game for close to four years (!) I only recently realized that Candy Crush intended it to be a stress buster as well, with its rotating opening screen messages: "Escape the stress of today." "Time to relax." "Swipe. Match. Relax." Relax...and play Candy." "Chill and unwind." "Swipe the stress away." Enough said.
Relax Rain phone app (free): If you find the sound of rain relaxing, you will love this app, featuring 35 variations on rain. Among them are "Rain in the park," "Puddles in the country," "Rain on window," and "Light rain at night." If you wish, you can add the sound of thunder and/or music to your rain experience. Love this.
Addressing your own physical issues is personal and way beyond the scope of this website. It is so true that caregiving an elderly loved one almost invariably pushes your own physical needs to the sidelines. When is the last time you took a look - not a glance - but a good, hard, LONG look at yourself in a full-length mirror. When the light bulb went on for me - call it my"survival of the fittest" moment - I realized that I absolutely needed to start attending to my own physical issues or I wouldn't be worrying about caregiving issues. I'd be dead. So here's a link to one thing I've gotten onboard with - so far, with outstanding results. No sales pitch here, but I'm always happy to communicate more on this, one on one. In the meantime, please consider something, anything, that will contribute positively to your physical health.