Every caregiver can tell you how challenging providing care for a loved one is, but not every caregiver has found the right strategy to maintain a positive mindset day in and day out. The friendly and experienced caregivers at Home Care Assistance Oklahoma suggest these three surprising tips to improve mood.
For a quick pick-me-up, sing a song. Crooning a few notes offers singers several mood-improving benefits including a sense of emotional expansion, a respite from stress, increased alertness, and the release of endorphins.
Humming can make caregivers happy, too. It boosts mood and memory and increases blood flow to the sinuses and brain. A specific form of humming is toning. It is the lengthening of sound using the voice and breath. The vibrations balance brain waves, reduce heart rate, and relax the body.
Hugs, or even a pat on the back, are processed by the central nervous system’s reward center and increase a person’s levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. The joy-producing effects of hugging are 10-fold:
1. Improves brain function through the release of the hormone oxytocin.
2. Reduces stress by lowering blood pressure.
3. Strengthens immunity by stimulating white cell production.
4. Generates the happy hormone dopamine.
5. Relaxes the body.
6. Increases pain tolerance.
7. Promotes digestion.
8. Relieves anxiety by blocking the fear response.
9. Sparks optimism and self-esteem.
10. Spurs generosity.
Happiness and sleep go hand-in-hand. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a minimum of seven hours of nightly sleep for adults. If it’s difficult to achieve this, napping can help mitigate a sleep deficit. Even a 20-minute nap offers the following benefits:
- Boosts immunity
- Heightens creativity
- Increases alertness
- Improves memory
- Revs productivity
- Dissolves stress
The positive effects of a power nap can linger for 2.5 hours. According to research, three nap lengths offer the best results. They are 10, 20, and 90 minutes. However, even a 6-minute snooze can improve memory. To maximize your naptime, rest between 1 and 3pm. If you nap later than this, it can disrupt your nighttime sleep.
Being a caregiver is no easy task, and it’s important for caregivers to care for themselves as well as their loved ones. At Home Care Assistance, we offer respite care Oklahoma family caregivers trust. Our expertly trained and compassionate caregivers can help with transportation, grocery shopping, cooking, light cleaning, personal care, and incontinence, among other things, and are available on an hourly or live-in basis. Learn more about how our services can help both you and your loved one by calling 405-285-4191 and speaking with a friendly Care Manager today.