Family caregivers often spend so much time caring for their senior loved ones that they neglect to care for themselves. If they don’t perform regular self-care, caregivers can become depressed, fatigued, irritable, or burned out. To stay emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy as a caregiver, try these six self-care strategies.
1. Create Actionable Goals Every Day
Many caregivers find it difficult to achieve a satisfying work/life balance. If you live with your loved one, you may be unable to leave the house without advanced planning, which can make it challenging to maintain connections with friends, pursue goals, and engage in hobbies. To make sure caregiving doesn’t overwhelm all other facets of your life, set daily and long-term goals. Every day, schedule an activity just for you, whether it’s 30 minutes of reading time or an hour spent pursuing your favorite hobby. You should also set goals you want to achieve over the next three to six months. These goals can be relatively simple like a day trip to the nearest beach, or they may require consistent effort like learning to speak conversational Spanish. Working on your personal goals a little bit every day can prevent burnout.
2. Get Exercise
When people exercise, they get better sleep, feel less depressed, and have more energy during the day. Many caregivers avoid exercise, as they don’t have time to visit the gym or complete an hour-long yoga tutorial. Even if you can’t clear enough time in your schedule for a lengthy class, you can still incorporate exercise into your everyday life. YouTube offers plenty of 10-minute exercise videos for people with busy schedules. If you manage to do 10 minutes of exercise every day, you’ll reap the benefits in no time.
3. Don’t Forget to Go to the Doctor
Caregivers spend plenty of time in doctor’s office waiting rooms, waiting to hear their loved one’s latest health update. It’s little wonder, then, that many of them skip their yearly physical. Make time for your annual checkup so your doctor can check your vitals and alert you to any potential health conditions.
4. Ask for Help
When caregiving responsibilities become too difficult, never hesitate to reach out for help. Many caregivers try to do everything on their own, but that lifestyle is unsustainable. Asking for assistance from friends, family members, and local organizations is one of the most effective forms of self-care. When you have a strong social network filled with people willing to lend a helping hand, caregiving may be less stressful.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of West Hartford home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
5. Hire Respite Care
Respite care is another great way to reduce the scope of caregiving responsibilities. When you choose an experienced caregiver, you can leave your loved one at home alone without worrying about his or her wellbeing. Hiring respite care gives you time to run errands, take a kickboxing class, see a movie, or grab coffee with a friend.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, West Hartford, CT, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
6. Find the Right Outlet
Every caregiver needs an emotional outlet, which can take many forms, ranging from guided meditation to knitting, but effective emotional outlets have one thing in common: they give caregivers a way to destress after a long day. Stressed out caregivers should try a few common stress relievers like journaling, meditation, yoga, and reading, then make their favorite option into a habit.
Family caregivers can become overwhelmed when caring for their loved one. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior home care, West Hartford Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. To learn more about our premier senior care plans, call (860) 372.4500 today.