What to do when stress gets the better of you

Sometimes a battle of the wills can put added stress on your role as caregiver for an aging parent. Trying to respond instead of react when emotions are high can be difficult. When you feel your defenses rising:

Stop…take a long deep breath in and hold your breath, then slowly exhale, blowing out your breath like pushing on the flame of a candle. Take another one.

Reflect…think about what it is you are trying to accomplish and that your parent is probably fighting to maintain some control over their life. Is there a third way that allows for some compromise to achieve the outcome you are looking for?

Surrender…It’s been my experience that love is the best resource for aging well. Be compassionate of the time of life your parent is in and the losses they are experiencing. Give them a hug or lighten the tension with humor. You will never get this time back. “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly”.