Acting as a caregiver can be a time consuming position, leaving little time to take care of yourself. This should be of higher important because it benefits your loved one and yourself.
Read more about the value of self-care and how to implement it for a healthy body, mind, and soul.
Top 4 Tips for Self-Care for Caregivers
A high number of family members or friends take care of their loved ones unpaid, around 34.2 million Americans. They are providing care to an adult that’s 50 or older.
Many people who are in the caregiver’s role experience feelings of guilt for wanting time to themselves. However, it can be compared to the need for self-care with that of putting your own oxygen mask on an aircraft before helping anyone else. It’s only when we help ourselves first can we help others effectively.
Self-care is an important and necessary part of the care system that not only benefits you, but also the person you care for.
It can be very rewarding and satisfying to provide care, but it can also be exhausting, with many caregivers reporting personal health issues:
- Excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
- Failure to exercise
- Failure to stay in bed when ill
- Poor eating habits
- Postponement of or failure to make medical appointments for themselves
- Sleep deprivation
Consider adopting the following restorative practices for a healthy body, mind and soul in order to combat these possible problems and live your best possible life while providing care for a loved one:
Maintaining a Balanced Diet
The importance of a healthy diet, not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional health. Enjoying a diet of healthy and well-balanced meals in the short term will help boost energy and minimize sluggishness, while eating well can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease in the long run.
Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep deprivation can damage your mental health and cause negative emotions and thoughts to have a ripple effect. For optimal health, the body needs seven to eight hours of restorative sleep every night.
Try to implement a consistent and daily bedtime routine to ease your body into a calming sleep, including two hours before bed restricting mobile devices or tablets, sleeping in a warm, dark room, and wearing comfortable pajamas.
Exercise promotes better sleep, decreases anxiety and stress, and improves alertness and strength. Although it may be a struggle to find the motivation and time to exercise, especially at the start, small steps can add up. Try to walk for 20 minutes a day, three days a week.
Have Your Own Interests
Apart from being a caregiver, taking a break from caregiving to get into sports and interests that you enjoy will help revitalize you and remind you who you are.
It may be difficult to accept help from family, friends, and professionals to reinvest in yourself, but the reward of getting to know yourself and rediscovering what brings you happiness and peace will make you the best caregiver you can be.
Entrust of DeSoto: A Resident-centric Memory Care Community in Dallas, Texas
Entrust of DeSoto is a memory care community that puts resident well-being at the center of everything we do. We know that each person is unique. That’s why we offer a wide range of services and lifestyle options to nourish the body and create community.
We understand the importance of home cooked meals and nutrition for seniors and this attitude is reflected in our dining experience. If you or a loved one live near Dallas, Texas and need assisted living, contact Entrust of DeSoto today to learn about our 24-hour care and find out how we can help.