08 Jul Tips for Effective Self-Care as a Caregiver
By: Dorothy Watson
There’s little doubt that being a caregiver can wear you down. When you deplete your mental and physical reserves, your ability to care for your loved one also shrinks. That’s why caregivers need self-care. It may sound complicated or frivolous, but adding simple changes can make a difference in how you feel and your work.
How To Care For Yourself While Caring For a Loved One:
Take Time for Yourself.
Caregivers need care, too. Caring for someone else can be a full-time job, and you might not always be able to get away for a break; however, taking time for yourself is essential for your welfare.
Physical and Mental Health.
Caregivers often experience depression or anxiety, especially when they’re the primary caregiver. That’s why caring for your physical and mental health is essential. Exercise, a healthy diet, relaxation techniques, and sleeping well can help relieve stress.
Create a Healthy Home Environment.
A healthy home makes it easier to live a healthier lifestyle. And this doesn’t just mean keeping healthy foods and plenty of water on hand. Your home should be the retreat you need after a difficult day. This is why it’s important to eliminate clutter, keep your home clean and establish an organizational system. Adding a few plants and extra lighting can also go a long way.
Rebuilding your social life and connecting with others may make you feel less isolated. Joining a caregiver support group can help you connect with other caregivers in the same situation. Or you may benefit from regular therapy sessions with Cheri Lock, particularly if you suffer from depression or anxiety.
Make Time for Friends.
Sometimes the best thing is to have a friend around. You don’t need a big circle; you must have a few good friends. Your friends don’t have to live close by, either. You can talk on the phone, use Skype, or communicate through Google Meet. Of course, it helps if they’re fun to be around, as laughter is well-known as strong medicine.
Things You Can Do Together.
Some caregivers find new hobbies or activities they enjoy. Try cooking together, going on walks, or learning to paint. You might enjoy taking your loved one to a museum or music performance.
Consider outsourcing tasks to help free up your time. You can hire a house cleaning service to help keep your home tidy and clean or a lawn care service to stay on top of weekly mowings. Beyond in-home services, you can turn to a grocery shopping and delivery service or meal kit subscriptions, so you have less prep work at dinner time.
Scheduling Time for Self-Care.
Set aside time in your weekly schedule to do something nice for yourself as often as possible. It can be anything at all, as long as it’s something you enjoy. Decide in advance what you’re going to accomplish, and don’t feel bad if you fall off the self-care wagon. Start again tomorrow.
Everyone Needs a Break.
Caregiving is hard work, and everyone needs a break now and then. For caregivers, self-care is even more critical.
Contact Us, and Prioritize Your Mental Health Today!
Cheri Locke Counseling & Consulting implements evidence-based techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Insight-Oriented Therapy, Gottman Method, and Emotionally Focused Therapy for effective individual therapy or couples therapy. Connect today to find out more! (832) 545-4148.
For details on how to get help dealing with depression, visit Locke Counseling and Consulting.