As a Family Caregiver, we need to make several sacrifices in our lives, but we should not sacrifice our health. Maintaining our health and sanity is essential if we are to continue to give the best version of ourselves to our recipients of care. We need to do everything we can to avoid injuries, avoid depression and avoid the dreaded Caregiver Burnout. Here is what I prescribe:
Family Caregivers need to look for a way to walk, jog, workout, and stretch. It is important to get the blood pumping. Getting a step counter is a great way to measure your progress. Once you get moving, the more you will notice how good it feels. You just have to get started.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Caregivers must eat right – It is easy to graze off the food in the pantry or the fridge. Fill the house with healthy foods and get rid of the temptations. If your parent suffers from Dementia you may consider changing your diet to help prevent the disease and strengthen your brain. Avoid the sugar and look for ways to include foods like nuts, avocados, and vegetables.
There are many free meditations on youtube that Family Caregivers can listen to in order to get a small break from the day. I have done this myself and it can do wonders to clear your head.
We are like the 5 people we are around the most. As a family caregiver that can be a very scary thought! My friend Pete is always a guy I can count on that puts me in a good mood. Giving a friend a call or having a coffee in-person is even better. Doing this also gives you new things to talk about with your care recipient and can be a real pick me up.
Something Above and Beyond
Take 5 minutes to do something above and beyond for the person you are caring for. Take them outside, pick a flower, watch a favorite show with them and wrap them in their favorite blanket. As a caregiver, you refill your gas tank with the feeling of being appreciated. This is for you and your relationship with your care receipient.
These 5 steps for family caregiver health are a simple way for you to keep a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Remember the Flight Attendants instructions in case of an emergency on the plane. Put your mask on first, then you can be safe to help others. Don’t forget to check out the 5 stages of Care or see other blog articles.