When caring for another human being, it can seem as though you cannot afford to take any time for yourself. Although you may feel this way, it is important to carve out time for self-care so that you can continue to nurture your aging loved one. Continue reading to learn about our tips to help new caregivers incorporate self-care.
1. Incorporate Healthy Habits Into Your Routine
To properly attend to the needs of another, you must be healthy enough to do so. This means eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly. Your workouts don’t need to be too intense; even walks with your mature loved one can be considered enough physical activity for some people. Consuming three meals per day that include protein, whole grains, and fruit and vegetables will keep you feeling full enough to get through the demanding day of a caregiver. A good skincare routine keeps you looking healthy while letting you give yourself some daily pampering.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Social Needs
All too often those responsible for the care of another fail to ensure that their own social needs are met. This can lead to feelings of stress, anger, and resentment. Enlist the help of a spouse, relative, or friend so that you can leave the house and unwind with others at least once a month. This socialization could be as simple as dinner with an old friend or could be a hike or workout class taken with a neighbor. Even a small amount of time to be in the present without worrying about the next task that needs completing can leave you feeling rejuvenated and have lasting health benefits.
3. Be Realistic About How Much You Can Do
In addition to caregiving, you may have other things that you are pursuing, such as an online degree. And there is only so much time in a day, so set sensible expectations for how many chores you can tackle in a given timeframe. For those chores that you just can’t fit in, consider hiring a professional to take some weight off of your shoulders.
One job that can be hired out is lawn fertilization. Keep your lawn looking beautiful for your enjoyment by hiring a lawn care company. Additionally, you may want to consider hiring a cleaning service to help with the deep cleaning (think under the furniture) that you never have the time for.
4. Enjoy This Time With Your Loved One
Although caring for an aging person can be daunting at times, try to remember that you will look back on these years with gratitude for having spent so much time together. Attempt to find some common interests that you and your family members can share. Examples could include walking the dog, going to sporting events, or learning to play games together. The physical fitness of your older loved one in part determines how far from home you can venture in your efforts to spend quality time together.
5. Spend Time in Nature
One study showed that people who spend two hours in nature each week are healthier with better mental health than those who do not. You don’t have to be physically active while enjoying the great outdoors; you can simply sit on a park bench enjoying the birds chirping to reap the benefits.
Caring for a mature loved one doesn’t have to consume your entire life. Stay healthy and keep socializing so you can be a happy and loving caregiver. This article is brought to you by At Home Senior Services, an in-home care agency dedicated to fostering independence in seniors. We seek to provide peace of mind for your family with compassion, companionship, and commitment. We understand that senior care is a personal experience, and as such we believe that your caregiver support team should serve as an extension of your family. We strive to assist families through personalized care in a way unique to any other agency. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!