Without a doubt, caregiving is rewarding as it gives you a sense of fulfillment. Despite this, there are some challenges associated with caregiving. They include; isolation, financial burden, burnouts, and instances of stress and anxiety. To effectively take care of someone in dire need of your help, it would be best to also take care of yourself. You need to know that this is not a selfish act. Here are a few tips you can consider for your self-care as a caregiver.
Make Sure to Eat and Get Enough Sleep
When taking care of someone else, you are focused on what they’ll eat, how they’ll dress, and other essential aspects surrounding their lives. At this moment, it’s pretty easy to forget about catering to your basic needs such as eating and sleeping.
Consider eating healthy and having a sleep routine. You might see it necessary to grab fast food to help you save time. However, these foods do not allow you to gain energy to help you tackle your day. This said, when providing healthy meals for someone you are taking care of, make sure to do the same for yourself.
For your night routine, you can consider meditating to help you relax your mind from the strenuous day. It would help to sleep at least seven hours to help you regain your energy. If this is an impossibility, you can consider taking naps during the day.
Consider Home Health Aides
As a family caregiver, there are times that you want to be relieved from the burden of taking care of your loved one. In such a situation, it would be wise to consider services from home health aides. Services like ALS home health care for those diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease make caregiving less stressful. They will help you perform all the daily tasks of your loved from bathing, dressing to feeding them.
What is more, the home health members will help your family members know how to take care of your loved one. You’ll also be connected to resources that will be helpful to the person you’re taking care of. With everyone knowing how to handle the patient, you can have enough time for yourself and a few tasks to handle during the day.
Take a Break
As stated above, taking care of yourself is not a selfish move. Seeing someone else struggling to do activities termed normal can take a toll on your mental state. To avoid interfering with your mental health, it’s fitting to set aside time to do what you enjoy doing. It can be watching a movie or cooking. Note that you can also take breaks during the day when your loved one is resting. A break rejuvenates you to continue with the day and offer your best support.
Maintain Your Social Life
When all your attention is focused on helping someone, it is quite easy to forget your social ties. Not having a support system gives you a sense of isolation which can cause depression. However much the job might be demanding, you must have your social life intact.
It would, therefore, be best to have time to spend with family and friends. Through such interactions, you can share the joys and challenges of your work. This is a great way to boost your mood and feel support from people that care about your well-being.
Engage in Exercise and Mind-Body Practices
Engaging in workouts is a great way to get rid of stress, gain energy to offer the best caregiving services. It would, therefore, be best that you consider regular exercises. Mind-body practices like yoga will help you achieve a connection between your body and mind. This is also a technique to help you lower your stress levels and be productive.
To become a better caregiver, you first think about your well-being. Understand that you cannot benefit others if you are not in a good physical or mental state. Therefore, make sure to focus on activities that will help reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Even when taking care of others, you must understand that you come first.