Can mindfulness practice make you a better caregiver?

Date:

March 2, 2021
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Being a caregiver is not easy. Not only do you have to remember, organize, and track the important details of your life, you also have to do the same for your care recipient, simultaneously!
 
Can developing a mindfulness practice help you become a better caregiver?

What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Mindfulness and similar techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, have been practiced for centuries. Increasing evidence shows that that these techniques help people manage stress and support health and well-being. There is also evidence that these practices, while not curing illness, support medical treatment.

The techniques have found new life in a stressed-out world of conflicting priorities. Simply put, mindfulness is staying in the moment, focused on present experience and not flinging yourself forward into the unknown “what if” (worrying) or looking back with “If only” (guilt and regret). 

Types of mindfulness practices include deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery. 

Although these are different practices, they are often used interchangeably.  As a therapist, my clients who practiced these techniques reported a greater sense of calm and relaxation. With greater relaxation, problem solving, managing anxiety, and other stress related life and work challenges may not take as much energy – making you a better caregiver!

A guided imagery meditation led by Jon Kabit-Zinn:

Tools and information:

References: Zanda Hilger, LPC; Including information from Family Caregiver Alliance, Wellness Society, and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Nutrition and Aging

Nutrition and Aging

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is important for maintaining health, especially as people age.  Caregivers can help by observing what, when, and how much their care receivers eat. Are they eating enough or too much? How much food is processed versus fresh food?...

read more
Are you prepared to be a caregiver?

Are you prepared to be a caregiver?

Evidence shows that most caregivers are ill-prepared for their role and provide care with little or no support. Caregivers show higher levels of depression. Depressed caregivers are more likely to have coexisting anxiety disorders, substance abuse or dependence, and...

read more
Anxiety and Caregiving

Anxiety and Caregiving

Balancing your life and responsibilities as a caregiver can feel overwhelming. This is why it’s common for caregivers to feel anxious. Anxiety is a strong feeling of worry or fear. Causes of Anxiety in Caregivers Caregiver anxiety can be caused by many things, such...

read more