When you’re a caregiver, you spend most of your time thinking of your aging loved one and making sure his or her needs are met. However, it’s important to remember to care for yourself, too. Being able to look after yourself ensures you stay happy and healthy enough to be a good caregiver. Here are a few things you can do to maintain your own wellbeing.
1. Eat Healthy
When you just snack on junk food in between tasks all day, your body doesn’t get the nutrition it needs to function properly, so you end up feeling sluggish, tired, and grumpy. Aim to get balanced meals loaded with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. It can be difficult to cook every day, so you might find it helpful to prepare a big batch of food you can eat for several days.
Family caregivers are often at high risk for burnout, and professional caregivers can provide a much-needed source of support. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
2. Take a Day Off to Relax
Many family caregivers only hire respite caregivers or ask family members to fill in for them when they’re busy with appointments, errands, or work. However, if you want to maintain your emotional health, you need to be a little selfish every now and then and get someone to fill in for you while you just relax for the day.
Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Philadelphia, PA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
The things you’re surrounded by can greatly affect your mood. Little things like adding new lamps, switching out bedspreads, or hanging wall art can make an environment look new and exciting instead of old and boring. A newly decorated space may perk you up every time you glance around.
4. Participate in a Hobby
Hobbies are often one of the first things caregivers start to neglect when they’re busy. Though this is understandable, it’s important to realize hobbies have more benefits than you may realize. Having some sort of activity you’re truly passionate about can give you something to look forward to, boost your mood, and provide a break from thinking about caregiving.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercising is one of the most important things caregivers can do. Though it may be tempting to collapse on the couch after a long day of caregiving, try to put at least 20 minutes into some form of gentle exercise. Whether you prefer to run around the neighborhood or lift weights, a little exercise can relieve stress, help you sleep better, and give you more endurance.
6. Spend Time with Friends
Taking a break from caregiving to interact with your friends is crucial for your emotional health. It lets you remember there are plenty of people out there who support you, and it allows you to relax and appreciate that you have worth outside of caregiving. Socializing with others is a great way to reduce loneliness and anxiety.
It’s crucial for family caregivers to take good care of themselves, and if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, remember you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Philadelphia at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (215) 645-4663 today.