With so much to do as a caregiver, self-care often gets put on the backburner. However, trying to prepare meals, clean the kitchen, and look after your senior loved one’s health all require mental and physical energy that taxes your wellbeing. When you feel on the verge of burnout, use the following tips to practice better self-care that allows you to meet the demands on your energy and time with a positive attitude.
1. Change Your Mindset
Caregivers often confuse self-care with selfishness. You may even feel guilty when you take a break or chastise yourself when you feel like you’re falling behind. The truth is you’re only human, and practicing self-care serves a serious purpose. Think for a minute about what could happen to your loved one if you were too sick or injured to care for him or her. Part of your new role is staying mentally and physically strong so you can continue to perform your duties. Once you realize this, self-care takes on a new meaning.
2. Identify Your Needs
Every caregiver has different needs, and yours will change over the course of several months. Plan to review your current health and mental attitude every month to determine what you can do to better yourself. For instance, you may find you need to spend a day getting your house organized before visitors arrive, or you may need to catch up with your spouse or children. By identifying the gaps in your life, you can have a better idea of how to make plans that make you feel whole again.
Family caregivers can seek assistance when they need a break from their responsibility as a caregiver. New Hampshire home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
3. Give Yourself a Break with Respite Care
You’d never force yourself to work a regular job without taking a break at some point. After all, having a weekend or even a lunch hour to yourself allows you to come back to your duties with a refreshed mindset. Family caregiving should be treated the same way, and respite care is designed to make sure you get regular breaks. Whether you go get a past-due health exam or enjoy a few minutes to read, you can relax and know your loved one is receiving high-quality care at the same time.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. New Hampshire families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
4. Make the Best of Tiny Pockets of Time
Self-care doesn’t always have to involve hours of relaxation. Often you can squeeze in essential self-care tasks within short periods. For example, you could spend five minutes doing deep-breathing exercises as your loved one chats with another caregiver in the kitchen while preparing lunch. Alternatively, you could journal for a few minutes before bedtime. Although they are brief, these little moments all add up to a happier mood.
5. Remember Your Physical Health
Staying healthy is your priority, which means you must make an effort to exercise and eat right. While you may enjoy a walk with your loved one, you might also need to do more exercise to stay in shape. Create a plan to work out and eat a healthy diet that also works for you. Even doing 10 sit-ups while your loved one enjoys his or her morning tea gives you a healthy start to each new day.
6. Phone a Friend
Your need for socialization is another critical component of your wellbeing. Make regular dates to catch up with your friends, and consider asking a friend to be your go-to person to call when you feel upset. Knowing you have someone to lean on helps you vent out negative emotions and find solutions to your everyday problems.
Family caregivers sometimes need to relieve the stress of their responsibilities. Families looking for top-rated New Hampshire elderly care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call us at (603) 471-3004.