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ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION: 6 Tips to Relieve Stress during the Coronavirus crisis
ALZConnected Moderator
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2020 9:47 AM
Joined: 8/17/2011
Posts: 354

6 Tips to Relieve Stress during the Coronavirus crisis 

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia can be tough and when you add the current challenges, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. But you have the power to do simple things that can make you feel a little better. 

  1. Focus on the fundamentals: Prioritize healthy doses of nutrition, hydration and sleep for yourself and those in your care.  It sounds so simple, but it is easy to get busy and let the basics slide. Ensuring that you drink your water, eat nutritious meals and get adequate sleep makes everything else more possible 

  2. Limit screen time: While we all want to be informed, a constant diet of the 24-hour news reports isn’t helpful--and neither is reading messages of fear on social media. Focus on content that builds you up and fosters hope--for you and the person you care for. 

  3. Be gentle: It’s easy to be your own harshest critic. Instead of reminding yourself of everything you didn’t do perfectly, speak to yourself like you would to your best friend if they were in your shoes.  

  4. Move and meditate: Start small and do what works for you. Take a couple minutes to do some deep breathing or stretching. Listen to music that calms you or write in a journal. Get outside if you can--even if it is simply to walk around your backyard, or sit on your stoop with a cup of tea. If you can’t get outside, do some simple balance exercises. It’s okay to start small. Even a few minutes a day can help.  

  5. Look for the laugh: Find opportunities to laugh out loud every day. Your laughter relieves stress, lightens your mood and it is a gift to those around you. Look for the humor in stressful situations. Watch a funny show or video. Laugh out loud whenever you can. 

  6. Find connection: As humans we are wired for connection. Social distancing makes that more difficult. Connecting to this community for support and inspiration is terrific. In addition, take time for a phone call or video chat with friends and family or a conversation with a neighbor. You can speak to a dementia care expert on the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 and link to online support groups and education programs on the Community Resource Finder.