4 Easy ways for family caregivers to relax this summer



Let’s just say it’s been a hell of a year for most caregivers.

Even if we don’t mention the year before this one, 2021 was difficult in and of itself. 

If you were a caregiver for any part of this year, you were probably concerned about your loved one getting the coronavirus and keeping them away from exposure. Now, they likely have the vaccine and you have some room to breathe and much more freedom in your daily lives. 

So let’s put a stressful winter behind us and explore some easy ways for caregivers to relax this summer. 


Schedule some weekly caregiver “me time” 


Many family caregivers are not only caring for an elder but their own children as well. 

That’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure. 

Giving yourself “me time” may seem like an unrealistic luxury, but it could make all the difference in your week to break away on your own for a couple hours. 

Whether it’s a Wednesday morning coffee at your favorite coffee shop, a Sunday yoga class or an afternoon walk with a friend, you deserve some time to spend on your mental health.

As caregivers, self care is paramount to your health, and it’s definitely not selfish. Writing the time into your schedule ensures that you honor that time for yourself and follow through.   

Avoiding caregiver burnout is important for all of your relationships, especially for the one you have with your senior. Read a past blog on how to avoid the tipping point in caregiving HERE, which includes ways to identify burnout. 


Get out of the house 


group-of-friends-having -picnic-in-park

At the end of the day, sometimes what we all need is a little escape. Leaving the house to see a movie is an easy way to kick back for the night, and you could even bring your loved one with you.

And if you’re up for seeing these movies, you don’t even have to get out of your car! Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been a small resurgence in drive-in movie theaters. You can check out your viewing options and Marymoor Park or the Seattle center HERE

As more of a solo thing to do, rent a paddle board or kayak and paddle around Lake Union or Lake Washington. Science says that being near water has a calming effect, and most of us can attest to that. 

If water sports aren’t your thing, how about taking a walk by a nearby creek? Coal Creek in Bellevue has numerous trails for wandering without an agenda. 

As I write this, the temperature is hovering around 90 degrees and will only climb this weekend. But, most of the summer is relatively mild in Seattle and perfect for outdoor picnics. 

The Washington Arboretum is a great place to take a leisurely walk and then plop down on the grass, or grab some lawn chairs out of your car. Seattle Pi also has a list of secret picnic spots around Seattle.  

If your loved one can get around more easily, a picnic could be a great excuse to get them out of the house. 


Avoid caregiver burnout and plan a day trip 



You can take THIS self-assessment from the American Medical Association to help you determine if you’re under a lot of stress and need a break. There’s also resources at the bottom of the page, such as support groups you can join.

You know your limits, and can probably sense when it’s time for a breather from your daily responsibilities. 

Can you plan to get away for just a weekend? Knowing you have a break somewhere on the horizon can be motivating and comforting when you have a lot on your plate. And sometimes a simple trip close to home is exactly what you need. 

Do you like wine? Plan a tour of the Sammamish Valley in Woodinville, our closest “wine country.”  Or, you could venture east to Wenatchee and tour the wineries there right next to the Columbia river.  

Take a ferry to Vashon island or one of the San Juans, and leave your worries in the boat wake.


Hire care, even if just for a day


If it works for you financially and logistically to get away for a day or a weekend, consider hiring respite care for your loved one. 

At SeaCare, you can hire one of our trusted caregivers for as little as 4 hours at a time while you do what you need to do to maintain your health. Give us a call or send us a message and we can walk you through the process. 


Megan Marolf writes about senior topics and outdoor recreation from her home base in Seattle. You can read more about her here


















If you or a loved one you know are looking for additional support during this time and are interested in scheduling a free in-home assessment, please contact SeaCare In-Home Care Services today! A SeaCare family member is standing by. 425-559-4339.