CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s: It’s time for a break

The CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s Survey Team

In an effort to raise awareness, educate our community, reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease; this month’s article highlights taking a break from caregiving responsibilities.

We’ve highlighted this topic before and will continue to do so for the very fact that it is so vital for people who are caring for someone else whether it be a spouse, a family member, a friend or a neighbor. Caregivers need regular breaks. Taking regular breaks is essential to caregiver health. Caregiving is a marathon not a sprint so it is essential to pace yourself for the journey ahead. This month our focus will be the effectiveness of taking a micro break during your day. A micro break is an effective way to pace yourself. These small breaks can fit into your schedule and greatly benefit your physical and emotional well being. Even a 5 minute break can reduce stress.

We might think that we have to go on an elaborate week vacation to reduce stress, but that’s not entirely true. Even quick 5 minute breaks can significantly reduce stress. Creating a mindset and routine of taking short breaks throughout the day can help you be more focused, productive and calm. So here are some ideas to take a quick break right now. Give one a try today.

• Close your eyes, slow your breathing, and count slowly to 10 and then back down to 1. Repeat.
• Drink a glass of water. Dehydration can make you tired, headachy, and cranky.
• Follow this 5 minute guided meditation at the free website
• Follow this 5 minute relaxing stretch video( you can do at your desk or chair.
• Listen to your favorite upbeat music.
• Take a 5 minute walk outside. If you can’t leave your older adult alone, just sit outside the door and breathe some fresh air, leaving it open so you can still keep an eye on them.
• Do a brain dump. Get all your thoughts out on paper. Don’t worry about being organized, neat, or even making sense. Just start writing stuff down on paper and don’t stop until your brain is clear.
• Move your body to your favorite music – DANCE!
• Watch a funny video.
• Brew a cup of tea or coffee, sit and watch the birds or just listen to the sounds of nature.
• Set an intention today to take small breaks to refresh your body and spirit.

“It is the Sweet, Simple things of Life that are the Real ones after all.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder


For more information about the CambridgeACT on Alzheimer’s call Julie Tooker at 763-691-6192. For caregiver support and information about local resources contact Jayne Mund at 763-689-8811.
Your input and assistance is valuable. Let’s ACT together to create and sustain a dementia friendly community. There is Hope. There is Help.

• Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group meets the third Tuesday of the month from 10-11:30 a.m. at Mill Ridge Terrace, 235 Fern St. N., Cambridge. Contact Molly Carlson for more information at [email protected] or call 763-691-6172

• Alzheimer’s Association, Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter,, 800-272-3900, 24-hour helpline.