If you’ve read our blog, you’ll know that we talk a lot about senior care topics and how to provide top-notch care for elderly loved ones. After all, we are an in-home care company that primarily provides care services for senior citizens.
But there is another side to the care industry. A side that often gets overlooked. It even gets overlooked by those that it affects.
That side is the caregiver side.
You see, most caregivers put so much effort into providing care for their patients and loved ones that they forget to take care of themselves. For many in this position, self-care feels selfish and partaking in it often makes them feel guilty.
However, this belief couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, in order for caregivers to provide top-notch care without burning out practicing self-care is critical. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Since August is host to National Wellness Month, we thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss Caregiver Wellness. The goal of this annual month-long awareness campaign is to promote self-care and healthy routines to help practitioners manage stress and live fulfilled, happy lives.
If you are a caregiver, keep reading to discover 8 great ways to practice self-care and wellness while reducing caregiver burnout.
Since there is little time for caregivers to focus on their own needs, eating fast food is a common practice. However, chronic fast food eating does not promote a healthy diet. As a family caregiver, a good way to remedy this is to cook healthy meals for your loved one that you can also eat. If you don’t have enough time to do this as a daily routine, setting aside one night a week to cook healthy meals in bulk and meal prep will help you save time and eat healthy all week long.
Do Something Fun Everyday
Caring for an elderly loved one is a labor of love but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t difficult and monotonous at the same time. A good way to prevent caregiver burnout and depression is to do at least one fun thing every day. This could be something as simple as reading a funny blog, watching a comedy special on Netflix or going out with friends.
Get Your Rest
There’s no way around it, caregiving is exhausting and if you don’t get enough rest that exhaustion is tenfold. Most experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep a night but if you are having trouble sleeping through the night, we suggest taking naps when you can. Caffeine helps but only use it as a last resort. Afterall, there truly is no substitute for a good night’s sleep.
Minimize Your Vices
Smoking and drinking may seem to help reduce or numb the stress of caregiving in the moment, but their long-term effects can be deadly. Instead of going out for a smoke, try taking a short, brisk walk. Instead of a night of drinking, try a night of dancing with friends.
Focus on Things You Can Control
A lot of stress comes from things that are beyond our control as caregivers. Focusing on what we can control helps fight off unnecessary stress and promotes wellness.
Keep a Journal
Journaling is a great way to reflect on your day in a creative, insightful, and therapeutic manner. Through journaling about your experiences, you are able to deeply explore your feelings and find a way to heal. In addition, it has been found to relieve stress, improve relaxation, reduce fatigue, pain and high blood pressure, as well as improve sleep.
Know Your Limits
We all have our limits. When we go beyond them, we are asking for trouble. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help whenever you need it. In the end of the day, if you ask for help, it will be better for both you and your loved one.
Invest in Respite Care
If you find yourself needing a break and time for yourself, we can help. Wiser Home Care Services offers Respite Care Services that provides support for family caregivers.
At Wiser Home Care Services, we know it is important to you to have great care for your loved one. We can help you do that. Our respite caregivers can be there overnight so you can sleep, or just a few hours so you can have some personal time or run errands.
Setting up respite care is easy. Simply call or email us and we can setup an appointment to establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs and help you relieve your caregiver stress.
Click here to request your free care assessment.