All caregivers deal with stress, and often so much of it that it becomes part of their regular lives. While some level of stress comes with the territory, it doesn’t need to be so overwhelming all the time. Here are 5 survival tips that all caregivers should know:
- Take care of yourself with diet and exercise – eat well throughout the day, and no matter how busy you are, don’t skip meals, otherwise your energy levels will drop. Exercise at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes, and pick something that you enjoy doing (walking, biking, aerobics class.)
- Walk away - you won’t walk away permanently from your care responsibilities, but you can take a step back when you need to. Take a break, even if just for a few minutes, or have someone else step in to provide respite care.
- Seek help - 72% of caregivers refuse to receive outside help with their responsibilities; don’t be one of them. Ask a family member to step in and help, or hire a professional home caregiver to give you a break. Also, don’t be afraid to lean on others when you’re stressed, even if it means joining a support group.
- Spoil yourself – reward yourself for all of your hard work, once a week or once a month, go get a massage, have a manicure, go to a movie, or take a hot bath with a glass of wine. Do something that helps you rejuvenate!
- Don’t neglect your health – remember to get yourself to the doctor regularly, especially if you’re feeling ill. You’ll be better help to a senior when you’re in one piece!
Put these tips to use and you will be a top notch caregiver in no time.