This article is written by Carolyn Ridland from CaregiverConnection.
Caregiving is rewarding, but tough. Whether you’re a professional or taking care of family, self-care is an important part being able to take care of others effectively. If you’re beginning to feel burned out, here are ten practical tips to help you get started.
1. Stay Healthy
Being fit and energetic is essential for caregivers. Don’t take chances with your health. If you haven’t scheduled an annual physical, eye exam and dental cleanings because of your caregiving schedule, do it today.
The hours spent in sleep are the most restorative of the day. Prepare a restful sleep area for yourself and practice good sleep hygiene habits. Nap if you have to, but solid blocks of sleep every day help you stay alert and focused.
3. Don’t Skimp on Nutrition
Caffeine and empty calories may seem like a good line of defense against hurry and fatigue, but they will let you down hard. Prepare a supply of healthy, quick-grab options once a week to decrease the temptation. Fresh fruit, nuts, vegetable soups and yogurt are nutritious, easy-to-eat choices.
4. Get Help
If you’re overwhelmed, take a few things off your plate with valuable time-saving services. Professional housecleaning, lawn care and even grocery delivery can put hours back into your hectic schedule every week.
5. Use Technology
Busy days rob caregivers of uninterrupted time, but technology can help you steal a few minutes back. Take advantage of travel time and waits at the doctor’s office by using your cell phone and mobile applications to shop, keep with the news and pay bills.
6. Work on a Personal Goal Every Day
As a caregiver, your life’s pursuits can feel like they’re on the back burner, but working on one small personal goal every day helps keep your needs in perspective and keeps it feeling like you’re moving forward.
7. Commit to Staying Organized
Putting off small organizational tasks seem prudent when larger issues loom large, but it doesn’t take long for the lack of organization to make tough tasks more difficult. Take a few minutes to do the little things every day. Update the calendar, pay a few bills, and cut up vegetables for the week— whatever it takes to keep your regular routine running smoothly.
8. Work with Your Rhythm
Are you an early bird or a night owl? You can’t control every circumstance, but tackling big tasks when you’re at your best is always easier.
9. Get Some Fresh Air
Fresh air is rejuvenating for the body and mind, and a view of the great outdoors helps bring the day’s problems into the proper perspective. Just a quick walk is enough, but if you can, seek out green spaces, breathe deeply and stay a while.
10. Give Yourself a Round of Applause Every Day
For caregivers, most busy days end with important things still on the to-do list, and it’s easy to fall into a trap of self-criticism and negative self-talk about what wasn’t accomplished. Stop! Give yourself a round of applause every single day because without you, none of it may have been done at all.
In the long run, taking good care of yourself is the key to successfully caring for others. Caregiving is selfless, but self-care isn’t selfishness.
Author Bio: Hello. My name is Carolyn Ridland, and I am the founder of CaregiverConnection. Caregiver Connection emerged from a place of real love and compassion. We understand the struggle that exists when you care deeply about your loved ones, but you’re faced with decisions you never wanted to make. Our main message is that nobody should have to face these times alone.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also like: