Prevent Burnout and Improve Your Well-Being
Ideas to Get Started With Meditation
Caregivers have so much on their plate: It is easy to become overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. If you are a caregiver to a parent or loved one, how can you not only prevent burnout but also practice self-care?
One place to start is meditation. Now, we understand if your first thought is, “But I don’t have time to meditate.” The truth is that meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly and doing nothing for 5 minutes—something that most of us probably don’t do very often! Pick a comfortable chair or a favorite spot on your front porch and focus on being present: What do you hear? How do you feel? Are you breathing deeply and slowly? The goal of meditation is to quiet your mind and give you feelings of peace and calm.
Another type of meditation is performing a body scan. Either sit or lay down and begin to mentally scan your body. For example, start with your toes: Note whether they feel tense or at ease. After a few seconds, move to your calves, then continue on until you have gone through every part of your body. The goal of this exercise is to move your thoughts away from the stresses of the day and be more present in the moment.
If you need more ideas, try the following:
Self Kindness Meditation
You can access this meditation for free on Headspace. Try making more space for your feelings and learn how to reject that inner voice that can promote negativity.
Meditations for Caregivers
Julia Mayer, co-author of the book Meditations for Caregivers, shared short guided meditations with AARP. These are a great place to start, especially if you have only a few minutes of free time. You can access all of the videos through the AARP website:
Five Minute Body Scan Relaxation
Five Minute Guided Imagery: The Beach
Five Minute Guided Imagery: The Garden
We hope that practicing meditation—even if only for a few minutes a day—helps to relieve stress and promotes your overall wellness.