Self-care for the caregiver—now there’s a seemingly unlikely concept. With all that caretaking involves, it would seem that the last thing on anyone’s mind is the health or well-being of the caretaker, given the responsibilities involved while caring for a loved one who is ill. Yet—if caretakers do not look out for their health and happiness, they can soon develop physical or mental problems that fester and grow, ultimately interfering with a life well lived, as well as typical caretaker responsibilities.
Just how does a caretaker practice self-care, especially when the focus is not on you, but the object of your care?
Here are some tips by Harvard Health Publishing that outline how caretakers can put themselves first, even amongst challenging and demanding responsibilities.
Practice deep breathing ten minutes a day.
I know what you’re thinking—“But I don’t have ten minutes a day to try deep breathing!” We guarantee you that you can, especially by finding a comfortable chair or cushion where you can close your eyes and focus on your breath. This allows you to release anxious energy, even while thoughts are soaring in and out of your mind. Taking the time to sit with just you and calm your mind will allow you to be more present.
Eat and sleep well.
This should go for everyone all across the board, not just caretakers—right? When we are stressed running from medical appointment to appointment or haggling with insurance companies over the phone, it’s easy to reach for a bag of potato chips or cookies. Eating healthily will give you more energy in the long run, as will making sure to get as much sleep as you can. Caretaking can be around the clock, so setting a sleep schedule as much as you can is imperative to be at your best during the day.
While there are countless other self-care tips for caretakers, these are certainly at the top of the list. Caring for a loved one doesn’t put your own self-care on the backburner, so finding ways to look out for yourself in the process is a balancing act worth putting into practice. Your health is just as important as your loved one’s—make it a priority.
Help at Home can provide around the clock care for your senior loved ones by providing a stable, positive environment for seniors living with Alzheimer’s, helping them to stay active, social, and stay healthy.
Located in Greenwich, CT, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care / Help at Home, LLC is proud to be a top rated home health care provider in Fairfield County, CT, Westchester County, NY, Manhattan, NY and beyond. Our clients are our family and we treat everyone with compassion and care.
Contact us today to see how we can help you and your loved ones.