Balancing work, kids, school and being a caregiver for your family member isn't an easy job at all. If you don’t usually take time to check on your own health take this as an opportunity to do so. We’ve compiled some helpful suggestions for taking some stress off those of you hardworking family caregivers.
Accepting Help is Okay Asking for help does not make you a bad family caregiver! It's very uncommon for one person to be able to do this alone. To have even one other person helping you would take a huge weight off your shoulders. This would also allow you to take walks to de-stress, or take a good lunch break to nourish your body.
Get Connected There's so many resources for overwhelmed caregivers. These resources involve support groups, help outlets, and more. It’s very easy to feel like you’re the only one going through a situation but talking to other family caregivers can help you feel validated in your feelings and stress.
Set Personal Health Goals The main things caregivers forget is their own health. By setting some personal health goals, you'll be more inclined to meet those goals. These could include tasks such as, “Take a 10 minute walk every day” or, “Eat three full meals everyday." These goals don't have to be hard to achieve but having them will help you remember to care for yourself too.
Socialize Don’t forget about your friends and social life! Sometimes during the hardest times having a few good friends around is the therapy you need. Take time to call, see and communicate with your friends and family. It’s also refreshing to just get out of the house; go get dinner or see a movie with your friends!
Watch for signs of Burnout Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion among caregivers; and it is very common. Burnout can lead to fatigue, depression, and anxiety which is why it’s important to watch out for the signs within yourself and your caregiver friends.
Some signs to look out for are:
- Overreacting to minor annoyances
- New/worsening health problems
- Withdrawal from friends/other family members
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Changes in appetite
We care and appreciate all family caregivers. We want you to care for yourself too!