If there were a formal job description for “family caregiver,” the descriptor “stress” would be included. While there are many enjoyable facets to caring for a loved one, stress inevitably creeps in. Over time, that stress can lead to physical and mental health challenges for a caregiver, and ultimately caregiver burnout. As a family caregiver, you must find ways of stress relief – daily. It will keep you healthier and in top form as a caregiver. Here are five tips for fitting stress relief into your day.

Free up time for stress relief by delegating

With all of the responsibilities you have as a caregiver – spouse, parent, friend, and everything else you do – there probably aren’t enough hours in the day for you to get everything done, including spending a few minutes each day on stress relief.

Getting help from others will free up some of your time and allow you to focus on yourself. For example, get a spouse, child, or friend to help fix meals, run errands, or help with housekeeping. Use that extra time you’ll have to relax and maintain your health.

Take an electronic time-out

Checking email and browsing through social media doesn’t relieve stress. On the contrary, in most cases, it gets our minds going in many different directions and creates stress.

Instead of pulling out your phone when you have those rare few minutes of downtime, close your eyes and sit quietly. If possible, stand outside or take a brief walk to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Enjoy a good laugh

Not only is laughter “the best medicine, but” but it’s also a great way to relieve stress. Take a few minutes each day to chat with a friend, watch a funny YouTube video, or think of a funny memory. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter not only can reduce your stress, but can also soothe tension, relieve pain, and improve your immune system.

Embrace nap time

Whether it be grabbing a quick 10-minute power nap in a chair after lunch or settling in with a blanket on the couch for 20-30 minutes, a nap will reduce your stress and improve your alertness and energy level.

Get comfortable, wear an eye mask to keep bright lights at bay, and set the alarm on your phone s