Last week I talked about how to help your children who are dealing with the stress of a sibling facing long term illness. This week I wanted to touch on how you can reduce and manage your own stress during this period. Many parents sacrifice their own health, when caring for a sick child. It’s perfectly normal, however as parents we need to remember it is our job to also care for ourselves so we can be there for our children. KidsHealth recognizes that many of us parents forgo our own healthy eating habits and exercise during these times. This is why they have created a wonderful resource of suggestions for parents who need to manage stress. One of the suggested methods is by practicing yoga. This form of exercise that incorporates controlled breathing, postures and mental discipline is widely known for dramatically reducing stress levels.
According to KidsHealth, parents should make sure they are doing some form of exercise 20 minutes daily to reduce stress. Whether it’s going for a run or learning a simple yoga routine, you’ll find positive results. If you choose to discover how good yoga can be for managing stress, check with the local YMCA or fitness center for classes. If you feel you can’t commit to a class, then look at some of the yoga videos on YouTube. There’s a wide variety for beginners to advanced, giving you the opportunity to find the perfect one for your level of exercise. And of course, talk with your doctor about how yoga can help you manage the stress of being a caregiver to a sick family member. To learn more about the benefits of yoga, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.