Tips to Care for Yourself While Caring for a Loved One

by Sytsema

Caring for a loved one can be difficult and both mentally and physically exhausting. When trying to fit everything into a busy day, often the first thing to be neglected is yourself. However, to be at your best and have the energy and positive attitude needed to care for others, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the care you need too! Here are a few tips to help ensure you keep yourself healthy while caring for a loved one:  

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  1. Don’t try to do everything alone. Reaching out to other family members or friends can help give you a little break from time to time. Ask if they mind helping with appointments, house work, or other errands or chores that could lighten your load. There are also resources available that may be able to provide you with helpful relief.  

  2. Stay active. Exercise is known to reduce stress, create positive energy and lift your mood. It releases endorphins and delivers oxygen to the body. Staying active can keep you upbeat, happy, and healthy. The trick is trying to find the time to fit it into your day. Try taking your loved one for a walk, going up and down stairs, doing leg lifts while sitting or lunges when going from room to room. You might feel a little silly, but you’ll be keeping your body moving and that’s a good thing.

  3. Plan to set time aside for friends now and again. Put something on the calendar to spend time with friends. It will give you something to look forward to, an opportunity to talk about your feelings, and ensure you have a little fun.

  4. Try Meditation. When you are feeling frazzled or overwhelmed, take a few moments to de-stress. You don’t have to go to a class or spend an hour, you can just close your eyes and slowly count to 20 or picture yourself somewhere relaxing like a beach. Take long breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat a calming mantra or do a few yoga stretches.

  5. Resist grabbing something fast to eat. It’s easy, when caring for a loved one, to feel like you don’t have time to make or eat a meal, but food you can grab fast is often unhealthy. Stock up on fruit and veggies and other healthy snacks to keep handy. If you can, make meals on easier days and freeze them to enjoy later.

Remember, you will best be able to provide your loved one with care when you make it a priority to also care for yourself. For more information, give our caring staff a call. We are here for you!

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