Caring for your loved ones can be stressful for a number of reasons. Caregiving is a serious responsibility and requires having a good head on your shoulders while juggling multiple tasks a day. Celebrated on April 6, National Caregivers Day is a moment for us to applaud the hard work of caregivers nationwide. Yet, given caregiving’s stressful nature, family caregivers can very easily develop mental health challenges from this role. Here are 10 easy ways to improve self-care for family caregivers.
Schedule Your Day
As a family caregiver, you are incredibly busy and likely have a crowded schedule. This means taking breaks can be a real challenge at times. The key is to split your break-time into smaller chunks! Keeping a planner or a calendar are two great choices for organizing your day. Simply choose the option that best suits your own needs. Planning your day will help your loved ones feel a sense of comfort while providing you the structure you need to seize the day.
Find a Self-Care Support Network
Being socially aware improves physical health, reduces stress and can even ward of mental health conditions like depression. As a caregiver, you shouldn’t feel upset on the more emotional days– these highs and lows are part of being human! Bottling your emotions up only aggravates your stress. Instead, be expressive about how you feel by calling a family member, joining a support group, or talking to a friend. If you’re more introverted, journaling your thoughts and emotions into words is a great way to counter stress. Regardless of the strategy used, taking action helps regulate your emotions and allows you to clear any bad thoughts from your mind.
Remain Physically Active
Breathing fresh air can increase your energy, boost your mood, and provide you with a much needed break from caring for your loved ones’ health. However, a couple of minutes in the outdoors isn’t going to be enough to lift your spirits. Aim for at least thirty minutes of exercise a day by committing to an activity that you love. Choosing a favorite exercise can act as a fun hobby and will help keep you motivated while managing your caregiving responsibilities. Activities like swimming strengthen your cardiovascular health, give you more energy, and improve your quality of sleep. In short, drawing a line between your caregiving and personal lives will ensure that you’re successful, happy and at peace with your mind.
Self-Care Starts with Loving Yourself
Self-care begins with feeling good about yourself. Pat yourself on the back for handling this daily responsibility with such grace. By focusing on the positives, you’ll gain a greater sense of self-esteem.
Caregiving comes with monumental responsibilities and so you shouldn’t feel ashamed of feeling burnt out every once in a while. Approaching others for assistance can be challenging, particularly if you’re not sure how and who to ask. At Veranda Club, we believe your senior loved ones’ guardianship should be a collective responsibility, which is why our team members work closely with our residents’ families to ensure every community member feels safe and comfortable. Our exclusive senior living community amenities include an onsite beauty salon and other wonderful facilities, ensuring your loved ones will never be bored. To learn more about our senior living programs, contact one of our lifestyle coordinators today!