To take care of your loved one, you also need to take care of yourself.
Support group members share common experiences about caring for a loved one. Members "lend an ear" so you can share your feelings with others who may have similar needs and feelings.
Support groups can also give you ongoing education, helpful tips and sources of help in the community. Support group members can become your new friends or give you support.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a short and easy exercise to
help you relax.
Find a relaxing position. You may sit down or lie on your back
in bed. Be sure your legs and hands are not crossed.
You may close your eyes. If you prefer, you can keep your eyes
open, but focus on one spot in front of you.
Bring your attention to your breathing. Think about where your
breath comes in and out of your nose or mouth. Think about how
your chest moves up and down with each breath.
Imagine a gentle, safe wave of relaxation that will slowly and
warmly flow through your body. The wave can help you find
those places that need to relax and give them permission to relax.
You can also imagine this wave in any way you find most
comfortable. You may see it as light, water or just a feeling.
If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breathing.
Take a moment to observe the still place you created.
With practice, relaxation will become easier.
You can use your imagination to help you breathe easier.
Guided imagery helps manage distress and gives you a better
sense of well-being.
Allina Health Patient Education, Understanding Stroke, fifth edition, neuro-ahc-90662
Allina Health Patient Education experts