March 28, 2023
Self Care Tips for Caregivers in 2023
Caregiver burnout is a very real phenomenon. Your mental and physical health are important, and the stress of caring for someone else can become overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to be proactive in preventing burnout. We’ve put together a list of self-care tips for caregivers you can follow in 2023.
Give Yourself a Break
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to give yourself a break. Being a 24/7 caregiver for a loved one is rewarding, but can be exhausting. Ask another family member if they can be with your loved one while you take time that is specifically for you. Do something you enjoy, or simply relax for a while. If you don’t think you have anyone to call for help, consider short-term respite care (care provided by a professional to give caregivers a break).
Rest is important. Constantly worrying about the well-being of your loved one is natural, but it isn’t healthy. Give yourself time to rest and relax to recharge. Do whatever you need to clear your mind and get a good night’s sleep, whether that be through exercise, meditation, or other peaceful activities throughout the day.
We know, you’re constantly being reminded to eat healthy. It really does make a difference, though. Even if you think you don’t have the time or money to eat a healthy diet, make small changes within your routine to accommodate better food choices.
For example, create a meal schedule. Cook healthy food for yourself at the same time you cook for your loved one. Research affordable meal options, and plan ahead for healthy mealtimes. Invest in a meal delivery service, or prepare foods in advance to last a couple days if food preparation takes a long time for you. Make sure both you and the person you’re caring for are meeting healthy, nutritional requirements.
Did you know that you can practice breathing? Not only does it promote lung strength, but breathing can also act as a natural stress reliever. Take a moment to calm yourself or bring yourself back down to a neutral level by trying these breathing exercises:
- Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose while you count to four. Exhale through your mouth for six seconds. Repeat for two minutes or until you feel your heartbeat slowing down or returning to normal.
- Inhale through your nose for five seconds, hold your breath after inhaling for five seconds, and then exhale for five seconds. Repeat for five minutes.
These exercises should provide temporary relief and help keep you grounded. If at any time you start to feel light headed or dizzy, reduce the amount of practice time and build up to longer breathing exercises.
Talk with a Professional
It’s okay to ask for help. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Whether that means contacting Sunset Senior Living for respite services or scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional, you need to prioritize your mental health to provide the best care possible for your loved one.
Join a Support Group
Check with local hospitals, nursing homes, or other organizations for caregiver support groups in your area. There are others going through the same experience as you, and it can be comforting talking with people who are feeling the same way. Support groups can also provide a new perspective or suggestions from outsider viewpoints.
Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your loved one. You can provide the best care possible while also taking moments to care for yourself. Don’t feel guilty about following self care tips or asking for help.