Caregiving is exhausting. There is no other way to look at it. If you are a family caregiver, you are likely devoting a lot of time and energy trying to help your loved one. At a certain point, you have to recharge your energy levels, because you are likely physically tired, emotionally drained, and mentally tired. Continuing to provide care in this exhausted state is not beneficial for you or your loved because you may not be performing at an optimal level. You and your loved one deserve health and good care. In this blog, we want to provide you with tips on how you can take a moment to recharge and care for yourself so you can continue being the best caregiver you can be for your loved one.
Recharging is not Selfish
Remember that taking time to recharge is necessary and it is not selfish. Some people feel guilty for taking too much personal time or admitting that they want a break. These are normal responses and family caregivers should take a break. To spin this situation another way, consider the alternative: working until you absolutely burn out. In this scenario, you are now no help for your loved one and you are too exhausted to do anything else. Recharging, then, is a way to prevent this avoidable outcome of burning out.
Follow these Tips
Get Rest: This one sounds self-explanatory, but we need to emphasize just how important rest is to recharge. By “rest” we mean the following: taking breaks, having alone time, and sleeping. It is very important to have days where you don’t do much or you get a few extra hours of sleep at night. These moments end up being crucial if you want to recharge and find more energy.
Respite Care: Respite care is defined as professionally sought care for the purposes of providing family caregivers relief for a temporary amount of time. Many organizations, like ElderCare at Home, provide programs that offer family givers respite care, giving them the much needed break they deserve.
Identify Your Emotions: One of the important things about caregiving is being honest with yourself about how you feel. It can be easy to ignore what you are feeling and focus solely on the care of your loved one. This is not advisable. It is important to identify when you are feeling overwhelmed, angry, upset, depressed, or anxious. Identifying your emotions is the first step to figuring out what you need to feel better.
Find help: There is no reason why you need to take on this role all by yourself. Look into community resources, reach out to family members, or call elder care agencies/registries to find additional and long-term help.
Do Something that Makes You Happy: Make it a priority to schedule time for something that you love, like a personal hobby, socializing, reading, etc. It is important to things you find fun every now and then.
If you have any other questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website!