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Self-Care Tips For Caregivers: How To Feel Better

Aug-17-2018 | Alzheimer's Care, Caregiver Service, Dementia Care, Elderly Care, House Cleaning, Janitorial Service, Long Term Care, Office Cleaning, Polish Care Services Trademark, Senior Care Services,

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Self-care is incredibly important for all of us; it reduces stress and anxiety, helps with fatigue and health issues, and allows us to focus on our needs in order to heal emotionally, mentally, or physically. It can be difficult to carve time out of our busy schedules to do so, however, and when you’re a caregiver, looking after your own needs can bring on feelings of guilt. Caregivers often put themselves last on their list of priorities, and unfortunately, this can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and even substance abuse.

The good news is that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be time consuming or lead to feelings of guilt or selfishness. Finding small ways to make yourself feel good and stay healthy is easy when you know where to begin, and usually, it starts at home. Create a relaxing space that will help you feel better after a long day and reduce stress, and set aside time to do things you enjoy, such as reading or gardening.

Keep reading for more great tips on how to practice self-care when you’re a caregiver.

Keep your finances in order

Many caregivers draw from their own finances to take care of a loved one, and it can be a huge drain on your savings to continue doing so, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Keep a close eye on your finances, set a budget for both of you, and look for ways you can save money by applying for grants for home modifications and medical equipment. Look online to see what you might qualify for; you can start here.

Take a time-out

Taking the time to get away from the stress you face every day is important, and it doesn’t require a vacation; you can take a little time-out whenever you feel overwhelmed simply by finding something that relaxes you and committing to it. Whether it’s a long, hot bath, sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee, or going out in the garden to putter for a few minutes, having a go-to stress reliever will help you feel in control and will allow you to combat emotional and mental fatigue.

Find healthy ways to cope

Many caregivers find that it’s difficult to deal with the stress of taking care of a loved one every day and turn to substances for a reprieve. It’s essential that you learn how to cope with those feelings of stress in a healthy way so that they don’t overwhelm you, because relying too much on alcohol or other dangerous substances will only lead to more issues. Find a support group so you can talk to people who understand what you’re going through, or consider taking up art therapy to help you release feelings of stress and tension.

Stay connected

Taking care of someone else’s needs for 24 hours a day can lead to feelings of isolation, so it’s imperative that you stay connected with your loved ones and friends. If you’re unable to go far, set up a Skype account so you can stay in touch with the people you enjoy spending time with, and make arrangements for video calls that will allow you to see them.

As a caregiver, you have a very large responsibility, and it can easily become overwhelming physically, mentally, and emotionally. Take care of yourself and make your health a priority; exercise daily to keep up your strength, and eat well-balanced meals. Learn how to focus on your own needs so you won’t suffer burnout.

Credit: June Duncan for Polish Care Services

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