self care for caregivers

Self Care Sunday: Self Care Makes Better Caregivers

Self care makes better Caregivers. The concept of self-care is one we hear about frequently, but many people are confused by what it actually means. What is self care? And what are some self-care activities that you can use? Try using a large print family wall calendar to keep committed to your self care. Keep reading for our self care checklist; ensure you are taking care of your mind, body and soul.

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Think about when you are traveling on a plane with other people who might need your help in case of an emergency. The safety speech instructs you to secure your own oxygen mask before helping someone else. This is so that you have adequate oxygen and don’t pass out yourself when trying to help someone else, resulting in you both being in trouble.

Many caregivers neglect self care. They are always putting others first. This is dangerous. How can you care for someone else if your own health and well-being is in jeopardy? You cannot pour from an empty cup.

Self-care is not selfish. But caring for oneself is not easy. For example finding the time can be very difficult. Especially in today’s world where we are always plugged in to technology- work and other responsibilities are always looming.

But self-care doesn’t have to monopolize a lot of your time, either. If you are regularly doing small things that boost your mood and energy you are engaging in self care. This is vary from person to person. However self care is important to reduce stress and improve mental health. This will make you a better caregiver for others as well.

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The following is a checklist that will help you start thinking about adding self-care techniques to your agenda.

Self Care Checklist

  • Get Physical- Exercise is a great mood and energy booster! And joining a gym can provide a social aspect for extroverted caregivers.
  • Recharge/unplug- Meditate/Yoga, listen to music

  • Get enough sleep
  • Set boundaries (learn to say no)
  • Seek counseling and/or join a support group. It does not have to be a physical in person group. There are many online resources such as Caring Bridge.
  • Find an outlet such as exercising
  • Ensure ways to relax, such as using Essential Oils Diffuser or essential oil bath bombs (Lavender is a fantastic stress reliever!)
  • Make sure you eat well- proper nutrition is what feeds our bodies to keep us healthy and active

Some people find that their souls are fed most by helping and caring for others. If this is you, perhaps even volunteering at a shelter, non profit or animal shelter can be “self time” that will fuel the soul and help recharge you.

Whatever self care activity you chose it is important to commit to it. This will be challenging especially at first. One technique it to make sure family and loved ones are on board with your plan and help you stick with it. This large print family wall calendar can be very helpful with making sure everyone is on the same page with your schedule, including your self care time.

Interested in learning more self care tips? READ MORE