Caregiver Tips to Taking Care of Yourself
Some of us are guilty of neglecting our needs to care for our loved ones. We expend a lot of effort to keep up with the needs of the one we are caring for. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will wear yourself out. If that happens, then who will take care of your loved one?
I know some of you are shaking your heads. When do you have time in the day to care for yourself? Try following these simple tweaks to your daily routine and you’ll start seeing some differences in the way you feel.
Find creative ways to move more throughout your day.
Put in some of your favorite music and let go a little while your doing your housework or cooking. This will not only provide you with some exercise but will also create a fun positive atmosphere for the one you’re caring for. You can even get 30 minutes of exercise before you start your day of caregiving. We all want that extra sleep time but you would be surprised how your energy levels will spike after only a few days of changing this part of your routine. Take your loved one to the mall or outside. While you’re pushing them in the wheelchair, you are getting some much needed exercise.
Modify your favorite recipes.
Caregiver, use wheat instead of white, reach for some yogurt instead of cake. Vitamins from fruits and vegetables will boost your energy levels. Grilled / Baked Chicken or fish are excellent sources of lean proteins. Eating out is not high on the healthy meter either. French fries and burgers may be quick and easy but it’s anything but that on your body. Start slow! Don’t try to quit everything, cold turkey. This will only increase your cravings. Little substitutions will eventually lead to healthier eating habits all the time.
Caregiver, where is your happy place? While your loved ones are taking that 20 minute catnap, take that time to go there. Take a bath with candles, read a book, paint, whatever you like to do the most. Take time for that! Focus on one task that you enjoy. Don’t try to take a bath with candles, read a book and paint all within your 20 minute break.
Yoga is a great time for meditation. You are staying focused on one task while simply breathing. If you have trouble, don’t worry. No one is a master when they first start. It takes time and practice…..even to just relax.
It can be difficult to change your routine. Having a partner, who isn’t afraid to hold you accountable, is a great way to stick to these small tweaks in your life.