Regular reminders help caregivers reduce stress

While caring for your older adult, you might run into stressful situations, annoyances, and arguments on a regular basis.

One simple way to reduce caregiving stress and the physical damage it causes is to regularly remind yourself what’s important, why you should let go of negativity, or to take a brief time-out.

But how can you remember to take a moment to de-stress when every day is so hectic? We found a simple and free solution using the smartphone alarm that’s already at your fingertips.

Using your smartphone alarm to remind yourself to breathe, relax, or think about an inspiring quote is an effective way to reduce stress and improve health.

We walk through how to set up simple de-stressing alerts on your smartphone and share suggestions that we’ve found helpful.

reduce caregiver stress

Your smartphone is your de-stressing buddy

The alarm function on your smartphone can be used to help you remember to take much-needed moments for yourself.

All it takes is a one-time setup of recurring alarm reminders with calming or inspirational phrases.

When you set these alarms up to repeat every day, they’ll automatically go off each day.

Even though you dismiss the alarm when it goes off, it will still pop up at the same time the next day.

How to set up recurring reminders on your iPhone

On your iPhone, open the Clock app and make sure you’re on the “Alarm” tab at the bottom. Then, tap the plus button in the upper right corner to set up a new reminder.

reduce caregiver stressTap the plus sign to create a new alarm

Next, choose a time of day, then select “Repeat” in the menu below the time selection.

reduce caregiver stressChoose your new alarm’s settings on this screen

In the Repeat screen, choose the days you want this alarm to be active. We chose to have this alarm repeat every day of the week.

reduce caregiver stressTap each day to select. The checkmark means it’s selected.

After choosing when the alarm should repeat, tap “Back” to save your Repeat days and go back to the Alarm settings screen. Then, select “Label” to enter your relaxing or inspirational phrase. This phrase shows up on your phone’s screen with the alarm goes off.

reduce caregiver stressOur reminder is “Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths.”

Now, tap “Back” to save your Label and go back to the Alarm settings screen. Next, select “Sound” to make the alarm sound a gentle, soothing one rather than an unpleasant blare. We like the Harp sound.

reduce caregiver stressThe harp sound is relaxing and pleasant

The last (and most important) step is to save the new alarm you’ve created. Tap “Save” in the upper right corner.

reduce caregiver stressSave your new alarm

You’re all set! Your new alarm will alert you to take a moment to breathe and let the tension flow out of your body. Even a little break like this reduces stress and improves health.

reduce caregiver stress
Our alarm in action

Set multiple alarms throughout the day

You can set up as many alarms as you’d like throughout the day.

In the morning, we like getting the day started on a positive note with an inspirational saying or quote.

Our mid-day reminder reminds us to breathe and relax.

At the end of the day, the reminder helps us think about what we’re grateful for.