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Caregiving during coronavirus: 3 ways to ease your stress

Caregiving 101's Scott Silknitter breaks down 3 ways to ease your stress and be a good caregiver during a pandemic.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Caregiving is stressful, but add in a pandemic, and it can be even worse.

Scott Silknitter with Caregiving 101 has advice to help ease some of that stress for caregivers during this time.

"Caregiver stress is a real thing and with the virus its made it even worse because you're worried about your loved one getting sick or you can't get out of the house like you used to. So this is when you've got to keep your head about you, not get stressed out. When you're stressed, your loved one feeds off your body language," Scott said.

As a caregiver, routines are important, but with the virus you've got to be more flexible. Scott said break that long to-do list into bite-sized pieces.

"If we can take bite-sized pieces of our to do list and stick to it, if we find something along the way that has to get done, don't worry about it then, add it to your list of things to do and do it the next day," Scott added.

With that being said, you can't forget to take care of yourself. Often times, you're focused on taking care of your loved ones, but Scott said take some time for yourself.

"Take those opportunities to sit and do nothing for a few minutes because being on call 24/7 as a caregiver can really wear you out and if you get sick, who's going to take care of you and who's going to take care of your loved one," Scott asked.

He said take a break, drink some coffee or tea, sit outside, or whatever you can to relax for a few minutes.

Lastly, Scott wants everyone to remember the mental health of those we care for. 

Whether you have 20 or 200 TV channels and every streaming service, you can't watch TV all day. Scott said its a good idea to come up with some activities for them.

"There's a lot of things you can do, you just have to keep your head about you and get creative just to keep your loved one busy and active," Scott shared.

Here are some ideas, a lot of sites have free 30 to 60 day trials. Peloton is offering yoga videos. The Brian Grant Foundation has exercise videos for Parkinson's patients. Amazon's Audible has access to audio books. 

Just remember, if you don't want to pay for them once the trial is up, to end the subscription.

If you don't have access to internet for your loved one, Scott said treasure hunts in a magazine are fun and some adults may even want a coloring book. You can get creative!

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