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Sensory Caregiver Stress Relief: Smell

July 26th, 2016

Caregivers in Palm City FL

Caregivers in Palm City FLEveryone has had that moment when they get a sudden whiff of a scent and are overwhelmed by memories. According to studies, this is not a random thing. The sense of smell truly is the one that is most closely linked to memory and that can mean that it is the one that is often most effective at triggering memories and relieving stress. This is because when you breathe in a scent it is processed through the olfactory bulb, which is a part of the limbic system. This system is also the area of the brain that is responsible for emotions.

As a caregiver, stress and emotions can take on new meaning for you. Even if you have a fantastic relationship with your aging parent and are confident in your decision to be a family caregiver, you will still encounter situations that are stressful, emotionally difficult, and even overwhelming. Taking advantage of the power of the sense of smell can help you to control this stress so that you can better protect your health and be at your best in all areas of your life.

Let these ideas inspire you for ways that you can use your sense of smell to help you relieve and manage your caregiver stress:

  • Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is an extremely popular way to utilize scents as a way to impact your emotions and stress. There are many ways that you can integrate aromatherapy into your caregiver routine as a way to manage your stress. Choose essential oils that you enjoy and that are known for creating calming or relaxation and add them to your bath water, dribble them on your lamp lightbulbs, use them to create homemade air fresheners for your car, or even make them into your own bath products. Some of the most popular options include lavender, chamomile, vanilla, and eucalyptus. If you want an energizing boost that will clear your mint, try peppermint or orange.
  • Get a Whiff of an Apple Green apples have been shown to reduce headache pain, for sufferers who enjoy the smell. Green-apple flavored candles, air freshener or hand soap can offer a brief whiff and bring happiness to your day.
  • Trigger memories. Memories can be powerful for easing your stress and promoting positive emotions. Choose some of your favorite memories, places, or events, and choose the scents that most closely link you to those memories. Surround yourself with those scents so that when you are dealing with a struggle during your care journey, you can immerse yourself in those memories. For example, if your favorite season is Christmas, have peppermint or cinnamon oils or candles that you can smell. If you love a particular vacation destination, find a smell that reminds you of that vacation and take breaks when you can have little "getaways" in your mind to ease your stress and keep your mental and emotional health high.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Palm City, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.