When you hear the word caregiver, the first thing that comes to your mind is taking care of others. It can be your old grannies, your sick spouse, or your disabled child. These people cannot do even the slightest things for themselves, and you have to be there full time to feed, bathe, and take care of their needs.
Being a caregiver is overwhelming and can become a nightmare if you forget to care for yourself. We’ll understand the love you have for your loved ones that you can’t imagine leaving their side for seconds. But burnout is real, and you can’t take care of them if you’re not feeling well.
So, how do you care for yourself as a caregiver? This article outlines five simple ways that can help you take care of yourself as you take care of your loved ones.
- Talk to Someone
When you start taking care of your loved ones, you’ll notice that your network will grow smaller. You can’t go out for drinks, no parties, no work. You’ll be at home 24/7.
Do you know what happens when your situation gets to this? You’ll start feeling lonely, stressed, and abandoned. It’s normal to feel this way. It could be even worse if your life took a drastic turn from a fun-loving person to a stay at home caregiver.
But you know what? You’re not alone. Your friends and other family members may not understand your situation, but there are other caregivers out there going through the same ordeal.
You need to find these people, talk to them, and relieve the stress. There are support groups for caregivers you can find in your area or internationally. Whether you have Alzheimer’s patient, a child with autism, or a disabled partner, you must find someone in the same situation.
Don’t be afraid to join those caregiver’s support groups and find the necessary care for caregiver that you deserve. This is the place to exchange information, encourage each other, and find ways of coping with caregiving stress.
- Care for Yourself and Health
Many caregivers only revolve around seeing their patients healthy and happy. Don’t forget you also have a life and you can fall sick at any time.
Imagine who’ll take your position when you’re unwell. It can be a nightmare if you don’t have money to hire a professional caregiver to cover for you while you recover.
To avoid all the trouble, make sure you don’t fall sick often. You should take care of your health situations that are within your control. Read this article on how to take care of yourself including your health and your general well-being as a caregiver.
Maintain your regular health checkups. See your doctor at least once a year, even when you’re not feeling sick.
Get your doctor’s advice on stress management techniques, coping exhaustion, and managing sleeplessness. Eat healthy meals on time. Also, remember to take the annual flu vaccine to protect you and the person you’re caring for.
- Don’t Get Stuck at Home
It’s normal to want to stay by the side of the person you’re caring for all the time. It’s also normal not to trust anyone to cover for you when you’re away for an errant or just to treat yourself.
But you also have a life to live, right? You must sneak in a few minutes or a whole day for yourself.
You need to take a break to exercise, go for a walk, or have some time for yourself away from the caregiving duties. Exercise is vital to help you prevent diseases and stay away from stress. If your hobby is dancing, hiking, or partying, make sure you find time to do this even if it’s not as often as before.
- Meditation Works Magic
No matter how much love you have for your loved ones, it’s normal for a human to feel tired. Sometimes you feel you can’t take it anymore and you want to give up. You can wake up feeling irritable and regret ever committing to the caregiving duties.
When you reach this point, you need to step aside and meditate. Meditation is a kind of soul-searching activity that calms the mind and ensures your mental health care.
When you meditate, it helps you lessen the stress, anxiety, and depression feelings. Just a few minutes of soul searching helps you get your normal self back.
There are different types of meditation for caregivers that can help you out.
Deep breathing meditation is the most common one. You can breathe in and out with your hands in your stomach for a few minutes. Do this with your eyes closed and hold your breath a few times.
Visualization is also a kind of motivation that gets you to imagine the nice things in life. Just have your eyes fixed in one place but not looking. Imagine a peaceful place like a forest, a river, or a park. Engage all your senses, including smell, sight, and ears.
Practice these kinds of meditations and engage in them whenever you feel overwhelmed. They will help you get back to your feet.
- Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
The situation can sometimes get too overwhelming for you. Instead of pushing harder and getting even more desperate, take a break and relax. You need to find a better approach to the events unfolding, and you can only do it if you relax.
Create time for yourself, especially when you feel that you’re reaching your limits. Try finding a friend or family member who offers to stay with your loved ones while you take a rest. Make use of this time to treat yourself and forget about your problems.
Once your mind is relaxed, and your body recovers from the exhaustion, you will come back stronger and ready to fight again.
You Can Make Caregiving Fun
Caregiving is hard, but if you know how to juggle between caring for your loved ones and care for yourself, you can make it fun. Always remember that you have a life outside your caregiving duties and you must live it. Follow all the tips for caring for yourself, and you will beat the exhaustion that comes with caregiving.
You need someone to teach you how to be a better caregiver, especially if you’re not a professional one. You can visit our site for more advice on caregiving and your health in general. Our experts are ready to give you the answers.