Self-care for caregivers is beneficial for all healthcare workers regardless of age, gender, or social status. Studies have shown that people who take care of themselves are more satisfied with their lives and handle stress better.
Despite that, caregivers are less likely to take care of themselves than non-caregivers. Caregivers are more likely to experience sleep deprivation, visit the doctor less, take less time for themselves, and spend less time resting when they’re sick.
Providing care for a senior loved one can be highly stressful. It can also come with guilt since many people feel like they shouldn’t have any negative feelings when caring for a relative.
However, people experience these feelings all the time, and self-care is integral to making it through the tough times. Here are our self-care tips.
Self-Care Starts With Boundaries
It’s important to set boundaries for yourself. How can you take care of others if you’re struggling to cope?
You need to be able to step away and recollect yourself when stress is piling up. If you can, have another family member or friend take over for a while. If no one is available, contact a senior care facility to provide some at-home care. If money is tight, there are financial resources out there that can help.
Self-care With Exercise
Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, moving your body can be a great way to release built-up stress. Going on a walk, dancing, yoga, or riding a bike are great, low-stress exercises that most everyone can do.
Exercise is great because you can do it alone or with a friend. If you’re feeling social, take a lap or two around your neighborhood with a pal. If you’d rather be alone, grab some headphones and jam out while you get your body moving.
Talk to Someone
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you should find someone you trust to talk to. This can be friends, family members, fellow caregivers, or a therapist. Sometimes, all you really need is to unload what’s worrying or stressing you.
When you’re especially stressed out, self-care should become a priority. There’s always professional help available and you should never feel guilty if that’s the step you need to take that’s best for you.