This is a contributed post.
Due to the rising cost of health care for seniors and people living with disabilities, there are a lot of people who act as caregivers to family members. Studies have shown that around 80 percent of care given to seniors and people living with disabilities comes from relatives, not from healthcare professionals.
Being a caregiver puts a strain on even the strongest and most resilient people. Caring for a loved one might be incredibly rewarding, but it’s also extremely stressful, especially when most of the responsibility falls on one person. A lot of caregivers feel overwhelmed and constantly worried, and yet, they fail to do anything about it.
If you’re caring for a loved one, be it a parent, a partner, or even a child, you need to make sure that you’re looking after yourself. It’s easy to neglect your own health when you’re focusing on the health of your loved one, but it’s important that you make self care a part of your life, else you won’t be able to cope in the long term.
Want to know why self care is so important when you’re a caregiver, and also, how you can stay healthy? Then keep reading for everything that you need to know.
Take time out
It’s far too easy to focus all of your time on the person who you’re caring for, but if you want to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, you need to take time out for yourself. Once a week, aim to take a set amount of time out, this could be an hour, or it could be four hours, it doesn’t matter how long you take out, just as long as you’re getting a break. Believe it or not, after spending some time doing something for yourself, such as meeting the girls for coffee or going to an exercise class, you will feel happier and more relaxed. So it's worth making time for yourself, as it will leave you better able to cope with the day to day life of being a carer.
You may not like the idea of asking for help, but it’s important to put yourself first and get some help. Believe it or not, you can't do everything yourself. One option is to ask other family members to lend a hand and take some of the pressure off of you. Another option is to look into getting professional help from a specialist company that offers home health care. Obviously, this will come with a cost, but if it will help to make life easier for you, it’s worth it.
Learn to manage stress effectively
It’s no secret that being a caregiver is stressful, especially when the person you are caring for requires constant care. If you’re going to stay healthy while you’re taking care of them, it’s important to ensure that you know how to manage stress effectively. Taking part in meditation-based exercise, such as yoga, is one option for managing stress. Another is to join a local support group, where you can talk with other carers going through the same things as you are. You see, sometimes one of the best ways to relieve stress is to talk about what’s worrying you.
When you spend most of your time taking care of someone else, self care becomes even more important. You need to make time to look after yourself so that you are able to keep yourself both physically and mentally healthy.