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Self-Improvement Month: How to Prioritize Self-Care as a Caregiver

By Jessica Deng

September is Self-Improvement Month; a time to improve yourself set new goals and eliminate the negative things in your life that are holding you back. One of the best investments that you can make in your life is to invest in improving yourself physically, spiritually, and mentally. As a caregiver, it’s important to prioritize yourself so that can you care for a client and/or a loved one.One of the best ways a caregiver can strengthen their well-being is by practicing ways of improvements and reminders to help balance life as a caregiver and as a person who has needs too. Today, we’ll be sharing with you a few ways you can prioritize self-care as a caregiver:

  • Take time for yourself and your own needs
    • Watch for signs of stress, such as impatience, loss of appetite, or difficulty with sleep, concentration, or memory. Pay attention to changes in your mood, a loss of interest in usual activities, or an inability to accomplish usual tasks. Caring for yourself is one of the most important – and one of the most often forgotten – things you can do as a caregiver.
  • Eat right and get plenty of sleep
    • Skipping meals and lying awake at night worrying are not doing your body and mind any good. Be sure to eat a nutrient-rich diet that’s filled with healthy fresh fruits and veggies while avoiding processed foods that contain large amounts of saturated fats and sugar. It’s important to find ways to get enough rest so that yours can repair itself and stay recharged.
  • Understanding that asking for help is normal
    • Individuals who care for someone else can, and should, ask for help. Being able to delegate care should be normalized and never viewed as a failure or weakness on the caregiver’s part.
  • Take a respite
    • When it’s time to take a well-deserved break, or “respite”, you can seek caregiver relief through:
      • Other family members
      • Friends, neighbors, or coworkers
      • Adult daycare
      • A professional respite caregiver from a licensed home care agency
    • Stay socially connected
      • Social isolation will exacerbate any feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and depression you might already have. Caregivers should share with a trusted loved one or friend about their struggles, stresses, and even stories of joy and meaning as a caregiver.

It’s important to take care of yourself while caring for aging in a place loved one. It’s not selfish to focus on your own needs and desires when you are a caregiver – it’s an important part of the job.  When you need a well-deserved break, contact our care team at LifeWorx and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can help meet the needs of your families and assist in self-care time for caregivers.

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