Basket of Tricks: Coping with COVID and Caregiving

Photo by Gary Barnes on

In the past six years, since my husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia, I’ve collected a variety of coping strategies and practices for 24/7 caregiving that have helped me.  Some I use daily, like meditation, and some I practice for a while and then let go.  And some I know I should do and avoid. I’ve written about many of these coping strategies on

Here they are, in no particular order:

Meditation: Meditation is a regular, fundamental practice I’ve been doing for about 45 years.  I started out with Transcendental Meditation, and then moved into Siddha Yoga style.  It is an essential start to my day.

Daily Energy Medicine: This is a 5-minute routine that resets your energy pathways.  It’s easy to learn and takes so little time that there’s not much excuse to leave it out of daily practice.

Tapping/EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique):Tapping has proven to be one of the best resources for me in order to deal with the emotional stresses of caregiving and COVID-related issues.

Yoga: Yoga is such a great way to relieve stress and muscle tension.  There are so many levels and styles to choose from.  I like restorative classes.

Walking: It’s important to get outside and connect to the natural world.

Podcasts: I like to listen to inspirational and educational podcasts.  Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, On Being, and Fresh Air are on my list.  I also listen to The Daily, but never at night.

Audiobooks:Listening to a story can take me far away from my COVID-limited world.

Zumba: Especially good for days when the weather keeps me indoors.  I love to dance and Zumba gets me moving. Actually, any kind of dancing lifts my mood and makes me feel better.

Breath work:  In addition to two minutes of alternate nostril breathing before meditation, I try to pause for a minute of deep breaths when I’m waiting for something, or when I feel anxious.  There are many breathing routines (pranayama) for different purposes.

Writing:  I don’t do a daily journal anymore, but I do keep track of interesting dreams.  I write with two different groups, and post poems and other curiosities on my two blogs, this one and

Prayer: For solace.

I hope other caregivers and/or COVID-stressed folks will find one or more of these practices helpful.

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