Self-Care for the Caregiver
-Learn to relax
. Simple techniques such as yoga, slow breathing, meditation or guided imagery will help.
-Surround yourself with the healing powers of nature.
-Listen to music
-Find a quiet space that is yours for self reflection, self-care and relaxation. A simple corner in a room adorned with your favorite things will work.
-Try aromatherapy. Lavender and lemon balm are two essential oils found to reduce stress and improve sleep.
, be present and live in the moment.
-Knowing your not alone can be very comforting. Look for a support group
for caregivers in your community. Senior centers, community centers, hospitals, libraries, and religious organizations offer support groups.
Recognize stress and depression
-Depression is common amongst caregivers and can lead to additional health issues. Seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed, cant sleep or notice change in eating habits.
-Do not be afraid to say 'no.' Prioritize what you do. This may mean giving up some things that you did in the past especially if they are not very important to you.
life now rather than waiting until things get difficult.
-Do not wait until there is a problem to find a solution. At that point it may be too late and you are more apt to feel a loss of control.
-Life planning is an important and often neglected topic. What will you do if you can no longer take care of your loved one at home. Who can you call for help? What resources are available to you? Ask your provider if there is a nurse or social worker that you can talk to about these issues.
Set Aside Time
-Caregiving can leave you tired, zapped of energy and with little time. It is important to set aside a moment each day- even if it is just 5 minutes. Have a cup of tea, talk to a friend, keep a journal.
Find the positive
. Even simple things such as watching a comedy can help.
-Is there something to be grateful
for today, in this moment?
Do not forget your own health.
-Do not forget about yearly medical physicals and preventative health for yourself.
-Exercise and eat well
Do not lose what is you
-Continue your outside interests, passion or hobbies.
-Talk to your doctor about respite services in your area. These services allow you a needed break from the caregiving responsibilities. Use this time if possible to do something enjoyable. Work is not respite.
-Find a moment you can keep to yourself