Taking Care of Yourself When You Care for Others
Being a caregiver can be a stressful role. Even if you're caring for a beloved family member, the effort, emotion, and responsibility can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. By finding ways to care for yourself, you'll be better prepared to provide safe, loving assistance. Xpressurway provides some ways for you to balance caregiving with self care.
Create a Welcoming Environment
When you're a caregiver, you spend a great deal of time at work. This is especially true if your senior loved one lives with you. To reduce stress, create a relaxing space of your own. Start by eliminating unnecessary items to cut clutter and dust. Then, improve the lighting, so the room is warm and welcoming. You can also add a few pops of color with green plants or a vase of fresh flowers. Finally, create a soothing ambiance with scented candles and a white noise machine.
Take Care of Your Health
Good health is essential for caregivers. It ensures that you can continue to work and look after your loved ones. Stick to the basics — eat fresh vegetables and lean meats, and get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. It's also a good idea to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
Exercise is another important part of staying healthy. If you're pressed for time, you might have to divide your exercise routine into several shorter sessions. Skip the elevator in favor of the stairs, use an under-desk treadmill at work, and park farther from the door. You can also get active with your loved ones by taking walks.
When you feel overwhelmed as a caregiver, it's often helpful to eliminate other nonessential tasks. That way, you'll free up more time and mental bandwidth. The easiest solution is to stop activities that are demanding or time-consuming, such as committee leadership and volunteer projects.
If you find yourself stressed about household projects, outsource them. You might choose to hire a housekeeper to handle the big cleaning tasks each week. Or look online for “window washers near me” so that the streaks on your windows don’t give you anxiety when you look out into the yard.
Make Time for Your Favorite Activities
It's easy to forget about your own needs when you're focused on the well-being of others. However, doing the things you love can boost your energy and your mood. Choose any activity that sounds fun or relaxing, such as reading a good book, dining with friends, and practicing a favorite hobby.
Build a Support Network
As a caregiver, you can only do so much — you need help, too. Set yourself up for success by building a support network. This might include family members, friends or home health professionals who can take over for you when needed. A caregiver support group can also provide a nonjudgmental place to vent and seek advice.
If you're struggling, don't be afraid to add a mental health professional to your support team. Virtual visits are a convenient, secure, and affordable way to get therapy, even if you don't have the time or means to drive to appointments in Pennsylvania. Plus, you can select from a wider range of licensed therapists and take advantage of free consultations to find the right fit.
Self-Care Is Essential for Caregivers
Caring for a loved one is a noble endeavor, but it can come with a great deal of stress. Don't be afraid to seek help when you need it, whether that help involves therapy, social time, or someone to do some cleaning around the house. And continue to look for helpful resources, like the health and travel information you’ll find at Xpressurway. You cannot care for others without caring for yourself; but with the right self-care tactics, you can stay whole and happy during the process.