Spending time in the present moment, free from worries of the future or regrets of the past, is nourishing for the mind and body. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness can lower stress and anxiety, help with sleep and increase well-being. There are also specific benefits of mindfulness for caregivers.
3 Ways Mindfulness Can Help Caregivers
- Mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety in you as well as the person you are caring for. When you are calmer, you are better able to manage situations and interactions in a thoughtful way. A calming presence can be contagious and may even help soothe your loved one.
- Mindfulness increases concentration and reduces the likelihood of making mistakes. Caregivers are usually excellent multi-taskers, but sometimes, having so many thoughts at one time can lead to tasks taking longer or even mistakes. Mindfulness helps you focus on one thing at a time and reduces mental fatigue, allowing you as a caregiver to complete more tasks in a shorter amount of time.
- Mindfulness supports better self-care. We tend to spend a lot of mental energy dwelling on past events or thinking about future events. Mindfulness helps interrupt those looping thoughts and helps us see the difference between our thoughts and what is happening in the present. By focusing on the present, caregivers are more likely to notice when they are tired, hungry or feeling increased emotions. Being aware of this allows a caregiver to pause and care for their body’s needs and take a short walk, eat a meal or take a nap.
Want to Learn More?
Click here for a list of ideas for practicing mindfulness.
Adapted from Caring Across Generations, caringacross.org/blog/blog-mindfulness-helps-caregivers/. Visit the link for more information.