As a caregiver, life can get quite overwhelming and stressful. When caring for others, there are often times that we can get lost and stop caring for ourselves. However, to be the best caregiver you can be, you must still take time to care for yourself. Being a caregiver can take a tremendous toll on your physical, mental and emotional health.
When stress takes over as a caregiver, you could experience the following:
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of concentration
- Poor diet
- Lack of physical exercise
There are some things you can do to take care of yourself as a caregiver. To keep up your strength and health, eat healthy! This means eating plenty of vegetables and fruit as well as a balanced diet. Also, make sure you do some form of physical exercise. This will help relieve any stress that is built up.
It is also important to take the time to do things that are important to you that you enjoy such as reading, dancing, cooking, playing music or attending groups that you are part of.
Sleep is another important factor when it comes to being a caregiver. Try to always get enough sleep. Practice ways to fall asleep easily and try not to get disturbed during your sleep. You need your rest to recoup and be able to provide the best care to your patient.
Each day, take the time to relax and do something for yourself, even if it is just 20 minutes. Maybe even mark it in your daily calendar so that you won’t forget. It could be just a walk around the block, a cup of coffee while reading a book or getting a pedicure. Whatever it is, you need to find something you enjoy that will relieve any stress that caregiving is causing.
You can also do the things you enjoy with your loved one that you are caregiving for. Like attend the movies, go on walks or grab a bite out to eat. This will be fun and engaging for you both while you can also bond.
If you are looking for something to do with your loved one, SMART Brain Aging offers a caregiver support group from caregivers and patients.
Contact us today for more information!