Self-care really truly is great! Yes, the term self-care may seem unrealistic or defeating when you are deep into caring for someone. When we care for ourselves we are even more likely to love those around us. Somehow our nurturing towards ourselves causes a flow of love. Self-care, if done right, will energize our daily lives. And what I mean by “done right” is being able to use a self-care technique that suits your needs and situation. This will require experimentation.
1. Be sure to give yourself credit!
Look at your schedule. How much time do you spend at work, with family, friends and yourself? And what do you do for all the people in your life? List your accomplishments in each area of your life, even if they seem small, and let yourself be proud of your daily achievements. Hopefully, you can see the accomplishments you make on a daily basis.This exercise alone may or may not help you feel better. Either way, I urge you to test out some more self-care strategies because your health matters too.
2. Choose ONE area of your life to improve
Most caregivers report lack of rest, exercise and good nutrition. Pick one of these areas that you think will help you the most and do an experiment. See if anything happens with your mood and general well-being. You have to find what works for you; if something isn’t working—ditch it and try something else!
- Rest may include more sleeping, taking a bath, prayer and meditation.
- Walking is recommended as a good exercise to begin with even if it is for 10 minutes a day.
- Eating more or less or better food may also increase your energy or improve your mood.
3. Reach out for help
Many caregivers have various reasons for not wanting to reach out for help, but I would start trying out by trying out one of the following suggestions as well.
- If friends and family ask if how they can help, consider what they are good at and enjoy doing. Do they like cooking, chatting, exercising, or cleaning? Give them specific things to do according to what they enjoy with a reasonable frequency per week.
- Schedule an appointment with your physician or care recipient’s physician to address your care giving concerns. Be sure the physician knows the appointment is about you as the caregiver. Come with questions and ask what you can expect as the disease progresses.
- Look for an in-home care manager. They can help to provide in-home support for you and the care recipient, and connect you with additional resources.
When you or someone you know needs help caring for a loved one, call Home Care Assistance. We specialize in long-term care for seniors, creating dedicated care teams supervised by degreed professionals. We bring assisted living to home. Amy, our Lincoln Care Manager is a great resource and can address your questions and concerns, 402-261-5158.
Thanks to the inspiring Caregiver.org