Caregiving has challenges that many other facets of life don’t have, which is why it’s important to constantly check in with yourself—as a loving caregiver—about what you need in terms of your own mental health and well-being. Often times, however, this process is overlooked, as your loved one typically takes the bulk of time and attention due to their ailment, disease or illness.
In this article, we are going to take a deep dive into five essential tips to help caregivers of all types place their own health as a priority. Hopefully, these shed some light on this demanding process and reveal ways in which you can look after yourself!
Prioritize responsibilities. With caregiving, let’s face it—there are tons of responsibilities on the day-to-day. Between doctors appointments, medication, meal times and exercise activities—your day can buzz by before you know it. This is why prioritizing your responsibilities are crucial, placing the most important ones first, then working through your list.
Keep a journal. By keeping a journal, you are able to log your own feelings and emotions and reflect on your caregiving process. This is helpful as you are able to “vent” to the notebook in front of you, particularly after a trying day.
Accept help. Hey, whoever said you had to do all of this alone? It’s important to accept help from others and balance your responsibilities.
Set aside familial conflicts. Often times family problems and dynamics can bubble up during a caregiving process, so make sure to set those aside—as much as you can—so you can focus on your loved one and what he or she needs.
Take time for yourself. This can be the hardest part, as you are so focused on your ailing loved one. Taking time for yourself—be it social activities, exercise, work-related events—can go a long way towards your mental sanity and overall well-being. Take time for yourself regularly, too—schedule it into the calendar, if you have to, but don’t neglect yourself while caregiving for someone else.