National Tap Dance Day
May 11, 2016
Caregiver in Santa Cruz CAWhen it comes to caregiver stress, finding ways to reduce and manage it is essential to making sure that you maintain your best health. While stress is a completely normal and natural response for your body, enabling it to detect trouble and giving you a burst of energy to handle whatever challenges lie ahead of you, when it is persistent or at high levels it can become dangerous. Stress can lead to a variety of ill health effects including fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, increased susceptibility to illness and infection, and irritability. You may even find that you are not as capable of performing your caregiver tasks, which can in turn put emotional strain on you that only furthers your stress, creating a difficult and potentially hazardous cycle. By giving yourself coping techniques that allow you to ease and manage your stress, you can protect your own health, ensure that you are the best caregiver you can possibly be for your aging parent, and still be the person that the others in your life, such as your children and your partner, need. May 25 is National Tap Dance Day. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to take up an activity that will ease your stress, improve your health, and brighten up your life. Some of the ways that tap dancing can help you to ease your stress and stay healthier include:
- Physical exercise. Not getting enough exercise is something that many caregivers deal with. Not only is this bad for physical health, but it also makes you more prone to stress and its effects. Staying physically active helps to combat stress through the release of endorphins, which promote a sense of wellbeing and happiness. Physical exercise also helps to make your body healthier and stronger, which gives you greater confidence and enables you to manage your care tasks more easily, reducing your stress and improving your effectiveness.
- Musical therapy. Music is a powerful tool often used to help people deal with mental and emotional issues, including stress. The music used during a tap dancing class is generally upbeat and energetic, triggering these same emotional responses in the brain. The music can also trigger memories, allowing you to enjoy the boost that they offer. Music has even been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce heartrate, and improve physical symptoms of stress within moments. This means that you are not only feeling better when you listen to music, but your body is actually improving.
- Social engagement. When you are a family caregiver it can often feel like you are the only person in the world or that you only ever get the chance to engage with people about your care efforts. This can be frustrating and upsetting, leading to further stress. When you go to a tap class, however, you are surrounded by people who share your love of dancing and music. This lets you interact with people and take your mind off of the stress of your care efforts, giving yourself an emotional boost that can dramatically improve your outlook on life.