Practicing Self-Care for Caregivers
Caring for aging parents can be a rewarding yet time-consuming and stressful job. You want to ensure that they are receiving the best care possible, they are safe, and their needs are met, yet you must still balance your own life, family, career, and needs at the same time. There are only so many hours in a day, and it can feel overwhelming.
It is important to remember that you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself. You need time to recharge your own batteries and practice self-care. If this isn’t something you’re doing already, make sure you find time so you don’t burn yourself out.
Ask for Help.
You don’t have to do everything on your own. Talk to family and close friends about everyone pitching in and taking care of your loved one. Delegate responsibilities so everything is not on your plate. If you don’t have a lot of family or anyone nearby, look into local resources that can provide support. For instance, there might be respite care programs or in-home caregivers that can spend time with your senior and give you a break.
Take Time for Yourself.
Even 30 minutes a day can make a positive difference. Focus on doing yoga or meditating to destress and clear your mind. Have lunch with a friend or spend time practicing a hobby. Go for a walk, listen to music, or sit down with a good book. Do something for yourself that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, just an activity that makes you happy.
Try not to feel guilty about this time either. You deserve a break just like everyone else. Remember that you can’t be at your best if you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Start building time into your schedule for self-care now to keep on top of things.
Pay Attention to Your Health.
Listen to your body and pay attention to how you are feeling. Try your best to get enough sleep each night so you can allow your body and mind to rest and recharge. Fill up on healthy, nutritious foods that boost your energy, your mood, and your immune system. When you don’t make time to take care of yourself, you may end up feeling more depressed, stressed, or lethargic. It can become difficult to find the motivation to do anything, whether for yourself or others.
By making self-care a priority, you can begin finding ways to get support as a caregiver. You may find that connecting with others who are also caring for aging parents can help. Look into available senior care services such has Always Best Care to schedule an in-home caregiver to come out and assist your loved one a few hours a day or a few hours a week depending on their needs. Accepting help can be a big stress reliever, and you’ll soon see how much your senior benefits (and you do too). Get started today by calling (855) 470-2273 to schedule a free consultation.