5 Relaxation Tricks to Help You and Your Elderly Parent
One of the difficulties of modern life is that many moms find themselves increasingly responsible for their aging parents – while still looking after their children and often still working. This can leave us stressed out by the additional strain on our already busy work and family lives. Yet our parents have done so much for us that we willingly take on that extra responsibility of helping out our aging parents. That doesn’t mean we are not desperately in need of some down-time and relaxation every now and then. The ability to truly relax is a wonderful thing. If you are one of those lucky people who can instantly sink into a state of blissful relaxation, then you will know that the benefits include better sleep and better overall well-being. The key is to know some relaxation methods that will benefit your health.
The benefits of relaxation for every age group
Relaxation and mindfulness are not just for younger people, so when you are considering ways to relax, why not get the whole family involved. You are never too young or too old to benefit from learning how to relax properly.
Research has shown that when relaxation methods are practiced regularly, the effect on the body’s ability to manage stress, pain, sleep, and minor health niggles is boosted considerably. These are benefits for all of us, whatever our age.
However, it is especially important that you can relax when you have family responsibilities. If you find your mind going into permanent overdrive and you can’t sit still for longer than a few minutes, here are some ideas for how you can achieve perfect relaxation. Why not give it a try?
In all cases, make sure to set aside a time when there are no distractions and no pressing tasks to be done.
1. Breathing Exercises
Make yourself comfortable in a natural seating position, place your hands loosely in your lap, and relax your shoulders. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5, then hold it for a count of 5. Breathe out again through your mouth for a count of 5. Closing blinds or curtains to block out bright light and playing soft, soothing music is a great way to help create the right atmosphere.
2. Tensing and Releasing Muscles
Stress and worry can cause you to hold a lot of tension in the muscles of your back, neck, and shoulders, which can cause ongoing aches and pains. Here’s how you can relieve that tension.
Sit in a comfortable chair and, following on from the breathing exercises, starting at the feet and working up to the top of the head, tense each muscle and hold for a few seconds then release. This action helps to divert the mind from stress and pain in addition to loosening those tight muscles.
3. Active Relaxation
This may seem a contradiction in terms, but sometimes the best way to relax is by getting into the fresh air and taking a walk, playing with the kids, or going for a swim. If you are providing care at home for an elderly parent who finds it difficult to get outdoors, try singing to some favorite music with them for half an hour. The simple act of taking time out to do something fun and frivolous can work wonders for tense, tired bodies.
Turn off the radio or TV, plump up the cushions and sink into a comfortable chair with a good book, newspaper, or favorite magazine – definitely not with a smartphone! The time-honored ritual of turning the pages and reading for a while fosters a feeling of contentment and relaxation.
Certain activities such as knitting or sewing, painting or drawing, or nurturing plants in the garden can all provide relaxation. These are all interests that can be shared with family members young or old – and which can help to banish tension and stress. There are also many community groups and classes where you can enjoy other relaxing activities such as singing in a community choir.
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed by your work and family responsibilities, try one of these simple relaxation methods to truly relax and forget about your worries.
Featured Photo by Esther Driehaus on Unsplash