Self-care is a term to describe the many ways people, especially caregivers, can de-stress and wind down from the demands of caregiving. You read about it and you hear about it, but far too often we have to be reminded about taking care of our needs. When we are tired or stressed, we don’t know where to start, even if we give ourselves the time. Find something that works for you, but try a variety.
12 self-care tips for Caregivers:
- Stop and take a few deep breaths, as needed. Repeat often! The simplest and easiest way to de-stress.
- Get as much rest as you can, when you can.
- Stay in each moment and try to avoid thinking too much about all you have to do.
- Practice mindfulness and other stress management techniques. Visit articles on our website, YouTube, and Psychology Today.
- Talk to your spouse, friend, and other family, really listening and not trying to solve their problems. This is especially important when you know family and friends have missed your being available because of your caregiving.
- Walk when and where it is safe to do so.
- Exercise at home or wherever you find motivating. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting anything new. Check your city recreation center or look online for your community. Silver Sneakers programs are covered by some insurance companies. Exercise might include water aerobics, gentle yoga or chair yoga, dumbbell training, resistance band training, and some cardio machines like recumbent or regular stationary bicycle, and others recommended by your doctor or physical therapist.
- Plan fun activities with family and friends in the coming weeks.
- Do something mindless games on electronic devises, exploring your interests or finding new ones on YouTube, Pinterest, or social media. About social media: avoid getting caught up in other people’s drama, some of which may be fake.
- Watch a few holiday or funny movies. Wikipedia lists dozens of films by categories, titles, year released, and a description.
- Reach out to online support groups, if you need to do so.
- Enjoy the food, family, and remember all you are grateful for!
Source: Zanda Hilger, LPC
We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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