A Caregiver’s Guide to Self-Care
Caregivers give so much. They give their time, energy, and love to the seniors in their care. To be able to give your loved one help, you must take care of yourself too. It's important to remember that when your needs are met, only then can you properly meet the needs of others. Taking time for self-care may seem like a daunting task, but here are a few simple self-care tips:
Get Some Sleep: It takes a toll on your body when you're not well-rested. You may feel more irritable, exhausted, and find it difficult to find the energy to get through the day. When you're tired, you don't feel like yourself. Taking time to get enough sleep can make a world of difference in your self-care routine. If your loved one needs to be checked on during the night, try taking a small nap during the day! Even a 30-minute nap can leave you feeling refreshed.
Don't Forget to Eat & Hydrate: Being busy sometimes means you forget about what your body needs, which is food and water. We've all experienced the "hangry" feeling that is associated with not eating. Remember that your loved one is not the only one who needs to eat a proper meal. Mealtime is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your loved one while also doing something for yourself. It is recommended to drink about 2 liters of water per day, depending on your activity level. A great tip is to always keep a full water bottle around, so you always have a drink nearby.
Find a Hobby: Hobbies don't have to be extremely time-consuming. Finding at least 30 minutes in your day to do something you genuinely enjoy is a great self-care tactic. Do you enjoy taking baths to relax? Try waking up a little earlier each morning and turning your daily shower into a soothing bath! It's great to start your day on a positive note. Exercising, baking, reading a book, magazine, or blog, and meditating are all things you can do to help relieve stress and improve your mood.
Set Goals: When you're caught up in the day-to-day motions of taking care of a loved one, you may lose sight of the future. Take some time to recognize your goals. You can focus on smaller targets such as finishing one book each month or larger goals such as buying a house. Looking toward the future is great for your mental health. This provides a sense of accomplishment when you hit a goal or a milestone.
Recognize When You Need Help: Being a caregiver does not mean you have to do everything alone. Encourage family members to visit and help you take care of your loved one. You will be able to take some time for yourself while knowing your loved one is in good hands.
Being a caregiver is one of the most selfless and rewarding jobs you can take on. At Evergreen Place Assisted Living and Evergreen Village Supportive Living, we support caregivers and offer short-term respite care to take a breath in your caregiver responsibilities. To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today (309) 453-7300!