Caregiving is not always an easy job.
Whether you're providing care for a loved one in need or as it is your professional career, much of your time is spent thinking of others. As a caregiver, putting your own needs on the back-burner may seem necessary and helpful when providing efficient and quality care. While it may be easy to think of yourself last, in the long run though, doing so can be the cause of burnout, fatigue and more.
While it may seem like an overwhelming task to approach, it's important to remember the negative health effects that could occur if you don't check in with yourself.
Below are a few ways caregivers can take care of themselves while taking care of others.
Don’t overload your daily to-do list. When you feel responsible for the health & wellbeing of another person, it can be easy to feel as if you need to make sure everything is perfect all the time. Understanding no one is “perfect” is the first step to relieving the pressure that may come with caregiving. If you're constantly worried and overloading your tasks, you may never realize you aren’t putting your best effort into each task. Finding ways to reduce your load by prioritizing your work will benefit you personally and professionally.
Set goals. Setting goals in general can help you stay present in what needs to be done. Without goals, caregivers can find themselves feeling like they're running a rat race, with no end in sight. Whether personal or pertaining to caregiving, setting goals and writing them out can reduce the stress of day-to-day life.
- Personal goals can include establishing a good sleep routine, scheduling time to be physically active, planning out meals ahead of time and setting reminders to take breaks.
- Caregivers can set goals by establishing a daily/weekly routine, creating enjoyable meal plans or writing out each task that needs to be done instead of keeping a mental note.
Seek social support. If you're a family caregiver, your support group may be of other friends or family members who have an idea of what you're experiencing. If you are an employed caregiver, seeking the support or advice of your office staff may be helpful if you're experiencing difficulties at work. As a caregiver, you're often seen as the person others can lean on but it's key to remember everyone can benefit from the support of their community. Having others to talk through problems can give you the refresh you may not have known you needed.
Accept help. Over time you may find your workload is more than you can handle alone. If you're caring for a loved one this may be a sign to start having a conversation with your other family members to consider dividing responsibilities. If you feel like you've exhausted all your options, it might be time to consider an in-home caregiving service such as Senior Helpers.
Having a professional caregiver does not have to mean that you're no longer the primary caregiver for your loved one. You may even find that having a caregiver has enabled you to enjoy quality time with your loved one much more.
Our services can provide you with the time to rest, re-focus and care for your responsibilities outside of your family. At Senior Helpers, our caregivers are trained to provide customized services to meet needs, all done from wherever they may call home. We’re giving better peace of mind for you and your loved one.