Caregiver Stress Relief Through Meditation App

Caregivers deal with a lot day to day on the job. Take a break from remembering specific dietary restrictions of your senior clients, coordinating with their family members and worrying about personal matters to meditate. Devoting eight minutes a day to meditation with the Relax: Stress and Anxiety Relief app will help improve caregiver mental health. 

When caregivers first download and open the Relax app, they can choose between nine different background themes. All of the background themes reflect different calming scenes from nature, such as a mountain scene, a flower in a field or a beach. Users also have the option to customize the music playing within the app. 

The app layout and structure may be quite basic, but that makes it easy for the user to click into the meditation session. In the free version of the app, all users have access to the eight minute meditation session. The eight minute session is adequate for meditating to relieve stress, but for longer sessions caregivers need to purchase the paid version of the app.

The narration in the app lays out the basic guidelines for choosing an area to meditate. Caregivers should find a spot where they can lie down on their back, but not on a soft enough surface that they will fall asleep during meditation. The app recommends finding a good spot on the floor or on a firm mat. The room should be quiet and free from the chance for interruptions. 

The meditation starts with the narrator coaching participants through breathing exercises, and then moves on to focusing on specific parts of the body. The narration aims to help users become aware of each part of their body to properly relax it. All the while, caregivers should continue to breathe deeply and focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply at the same rate. 

For meditation beginners, the app also offers exercises to assist in learning to breathe deeply. This portion of the app shows a bar with a sliding dot and a pie chart underneath it. Users can select from different levels and then follow the instructions above the bar to practice meditative breathing. 


For example, one of the first levels has users practice a basic technique to inhale for three seconds and then exhale for three seconds. As the three seconds passes, the dot on the bar slides from left to right and the first section of the pie chart fills up. Once the sliding dot has reached the end of the bar, it pops back to the beginning and the word above changes to say exhale. Users then exhale for the same amount of time as the dot moves across to the right again and the pie chart fills up entirely. 

Having both visuals to look at in addition to an audio clip lasting the length of time for each breath makes training yourself to breathe in sync simple. As users master the lower levels and move higher, breaths get longer and retaining a breath between the inhale and exhale is added to the exercise. Users can practice breathing between sessions to make their overall meditation experience better. 

The Relax: Stress and Anxiety Relief app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week's photo features unique orchids, as a reminder for caregivers to take a moment to relief their daily stress and to celebrate who they are. Thank you for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on www.Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo Orchids

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."

Joseph Addison

 

 

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week's photo features tulips that may bring color into your life as a caregiver. Thank you for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week Tulips

"Opportunities are never lost. The other fellow takes those you miss."

Anonymous

 

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week: Sunrise Peaking Behind the Islands

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. Thank you for caring for our seniors. Remember more caregivers are needed, please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools. 

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo with Islands

"Feelings are everywhere, be gentle."

J. Masai

Caregiver Stress: The Relaxation Breath

I am a big fan of Dr. Andrew Weil.  He has some great books on healthy eating, healthy living and aging well.  He likes to talk about the benefits of aging which include wisdom.  He makes note of other things which are better with age such as wine, violins and friendships.  One of the reasons many people are attracted to senior caregiving is because it gives them the opportunity to be around the wisdom of an elder.

But with caregiving comes stress.  There are both physical and emotional challenges when providing senior care, especially when memory loss is present.  It is important for Caregivers to take days off and to take care of themselves when working on a long-term assignment.  Senior Home Care Agencies honor the 40-hour work week and are able to staff a replacement caregiver when the regular caregiver needs a day off.  This is good for both the senior client and the caregiver.

Dr. Weil offers the relaxing breath technique on his website and it truly works wonders for people of all ages.

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens - before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

 

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