Self-Care Tips for Caregivers
Posted: Oct 09 2017
Whether you’re caring for somebody in a short-term situation or for a long-term illness, it’s important to care for yourself, too. Caring for others and ensuring their needs are met, as well as dealing with the emotions you’re feeling yourself, can take a real toll on your physical, mental, social, and spiritual health. That can lead to burnout if you don’t take time for self-care.
We at Willowgreen understand the importance of managing stress for caregivers, and have advice to help alleviate it. Our full range of products for caregivers addresses your role much more in-depth. Be sure to take a look at our books, videos, CDs, audiobooks, and daily inspirations to learn more.
Eat Healthy Meals
You are what you eat, and if you’re skipping meals, eating fast food, or just catching bites of pre-packaged food in between caregiving duties, you’re not creating optimum health. While you are very busy and might not feel that your diet is a priority, you must get proper nourishment to keep your energy up, to get proper vitamins and minerals, and to avoid headaches and low blood sugar. Keep a supply of fruits and veggies to snack on. Maybe you can take one day a week to prepare meals for the days ahead.
Get Enough Sleep
Even if you do have to get up a few times a night to care for your loved one, it’s important to get the most out of your sleep in whatever ways you can. Sleep gives the body time to heal, increases immunity, and keeps your mind sharp, not to mention the effects it has on your mood. If you can’t get a full night’s rest, be sure to get naps where you can. Or find somebody who can help you trade off night shifts. Stress will definitely have a negative effect on the amount of sleep you get, so the more you care for your stress levels, the more sleep you’ll be able to get.
Get Out of the House
Even if you are homebound while caring for your loved one, that doesn’t mean you can’t leave your home. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to give you a few hours out of the house. Some services in your community might also provide aides who can help inside the home temporarily, or even care for him/her in their facility for a few days. Getting out to do small things, such as buying groceries or window shopping, or something larger, such as taking a day trip to the museum or a concert for entertainment, will have a good impact on your stress levels overall.
Talk to Somebody
As a caregiver, you’re likely dealing with a lot of emotions, which is perfectly normal. You might be going through the grieving process even. You will do well to talk to somebody about how you feel, whether it’s a friend or other family member, a support group for caregivers, or even private counseling. Holding in your emotions will only allow your stress to build, perhaps leading to burnout.
Willowgreen knows what you’re going through, and we want to help. We have created several books, CDs, videos, and electronic resources on caregiving, as well as prayers, meditations, and daily inspirations for encouragement. Shop our collection of caregiver books and materials today.