Frustration can keep you amped up so that it’s hard to relax, even when you’re recovering from the situation that frustrated you in the first place. As a caregiver for a senior, it’s important to know how to help yourself calm down from frustrating situations.
Leave the Room or the Conversation
Removing yourself from the frustrating situation is the best way to start allowing yourself to calm down when you’re frustrated. If you’re on a frustrating phone call, ask the other party to hold for a minute and count to 50 before going back. For really frustrating phone calls, 50 might not be enough, so ask if you can call that person back. Buy yourself some time, whether the situation is in person or over the phone, to allow yourself to step back from the frustration.
Close Your Eyes and Count Your Breaths
Once you do buy yourself some time, you need to know what to do with it. Close your eyes so that you can reduce your stimuli even further. Notice your breathing. It’s likely to be shallow and you might feel as though you just can’t get enough oxygen in when you do breathe. Take the time to consciously slow your breathing and count your breaths. You can count each cycle as one breath, up to five full breaths, or you can try counting your intake on the odd numbers and count the even numbers when you breathe out. You’ll find yourself naturally breathing more slowly and deeply.
Make Relaxation Techniques a Regular Part of Your Routine
Relaxation techniques such as breathing techniques and meditation can help you in the moment of your frustration, definitely, but they can also help you at other times. If you make these types of techniques a regular part of your daily routine, you’ll find that you’re less likely to need them on the spur of the moment. Their good effects can follow you throughout your day.
Take Regular Time Away
Make it a point to take regular time away from being a caregiver. This is another technique that not only helps you in the moment of your frustration but can also help to forestall future frustration. Hire senior care providers to fill in for you or talk to family members about taking over for an afternoon or two a week.
Make a list of everything that helps you to feel better when you’re frustrated. Keep the list handy and refer to it when you need it.