Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~ Self-Care Tips for Caregivers
Caregiving can be an emotionally demanding and time-consuming role. Because you are caught up in the daily responsibilities that come with this role, you may begin neglecting your own physical and emotional health. In this blog, we will go over some tips to help you be more aware of ways to care for yourself.
(1) Patience: Caregiving is full of ups and downs. There will be days where you are driven to wit’s end, and you may tell yourself that you can’t take it anymore. But, the moment you take a chance to step back and realize that these emotions are a part of caregiving, the better able you are to distance yourself from what is upsetting you. Patience is about identifying how you feel, distancing yourself from those feelings, and empathizing with your loved one’s situation. That is not to say that you must learn to “get over” your emotions, these will be part of your everyday experience. The point is to identify how you feel so you can take a step back to re-evaluate the situation and respond to it productively.
(2) Prioritize yourself: This sounds selfish, but it is not. Making time for yourself can be one of the main differences between succeeding as a caregiver and burning out. Prioritizing yourself means making time to do the things that make you feel better. For instance, this can be exercise, deep breathing and meditation, socializing, watching a movie, stretching, etc. Whatever it is that makes you feel rejuvenated and happier is what you should make time for. Remember that the better you feel and the healthier you are will ultimately determine the quality of your caregiving, which benefits your loved one. So, prioritizing yourself and the things your like is not selfish at all.
(3) Vent: Do not let all of your frustrations and personal challenges build up inside of you. It is very healthy to let this all out by talking with a friend or seeing a professional counselor. If you choose to talk to a friend, make sure it is a friend who will be supportive and who will, most importantly, listen to you. They do not necessarily need to give you feedback. Sometimes, just talking about how you feel allows you to find solutions yourself. On the other hand, if you feel like you need sound advice, then finding a counselor can make a great difference.
(4) Do not expect perfection: Remember that caregiving has ups and downs, your loved one’s moods and behaviors will oscillate day by day. There is just no way to predict how any given day will go. Knowing this, try to be proactive and responsible in your caregiving duties, but also do not set any expectations. That is to say, take care of your normal responsibilities, but do not be surprised when plans do not always work out.
(5) Sleep: This sounds simple, but it is not. The busier you are and the more stress you have on your plate, the less likely you are to get enough sound sleep. Make sure that you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. The more well-rested you are, the more energy you will have to give care. You will also be in much better spirits when you have enough sleep.
If you have any more questions, feel free to call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.