As a caregiver, it is vital that you take the time to care and nurture yourself, too. The job that you are performing comes with unavoidable challenges, so it is important that you have self-care tools constructed to manage stress. Here are seven self-care tips to help you manage life as a caregiver:
Allow others to help
It can be difficult caring for a loved one on your own. Allow others in your life do what they can to help when they can. Whether it is giving you a few minutes to yourself or running a quick errand, letting people in your life do what they can to help is essential to your well-being and health.
Be sure to get enough sleep
Being the caregiver to someone you love is admirable, but it’s not easy. To help with physical fatigue, adequate sleep is required. This can also be helpful in improving mental sharpness and can make you feel much less irritable. For a better night’s rest, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you have difficulty falling asleep, try over the counter (OTC) supplements like melatonin or try meditation exercises.
Take a break
Whether it is taking a walk, reading a book, or spending some time on a hobby you enjoy, take some much-needed time for yourself. If your loved one is unable to be left alone, ask a family member or friend to sit with her or him while you take a break. Or, reach out to one of the many home healthcare businesses in your area.
Speak with other caregivers
Despite the fact that you are not the patient, it is still essential for you to have support and resources. Consider joining a support group online or in person. There is always some kind of comfort speaking with others who are experiencing the same types of ups and downs that you are. Also, other caregivers can offer advice and tips that may be helpful to you and your loved one.
Do not feel guilty when attending to your own life or when away
As a caregiver and a human being, you can only do the best that you can. It is important to remind yourself that you are a caring and loving individual, however, you must also care and love yourself, too.
Research and apply for available assistance
Most communities have many services available for seniors like Senior Care Shuttle Vans, Meals on Wheels, Christian Senior Services, or Jewish Family Services. Look into support groups for yourself and your loved one, too.
Know your limits
While some caregivers have the physical strength and time to go above and beyond, it is important to do tasks ergonomically and safely as to not injure yourself. Assisting in another person’s mobility and lots of heavy lifting can result in back injuries, falls, and overuse injuries for a caregiver. It is important to learn how to do these things correctly and safely or call in reinforcements.