Caregiver Support: Health and Wellness TipsIn order to take care of someone else you have to care for yourself first. Avoid caregiver burnout and take good care of yourself by considering some of these tips to ensure your overall health and wellness.
Caregiving is a rewarding experience that allows you to meaningfully improve the quality of a senior’s life. However, 'caregiver burnout' is a common consequence of devoting so much time to this pursuit.
To avoid this condition, consider some of the following tips:
- Eating Well: A balanced diet is the most important part of preserving your energy. You should aim eat around 60% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 10% fat. Most nutritionists caution you against eating too many carbs. Carbohydrates breakdown quickly and turn to sugar. So, if you eat a meal that consists only of carbs, you will probably crash quickly after it. A bread with butter is a better option than a plain piece of bread. To maintain your liveliness, you must also eat healthy snacks throughout the day.
- Exercise: Improving your physical condition can reduce your fatigue and make your heart work more efficiently. Many exercise novices note that they now feel better than they ever have.
- Yoga: While yoga is a form of exercise, it belongs in a separate category. This ancient Indian practice heavily focuses on breathing and relaxation. One participant particularly appreciates the peacefulness that he leaves each session with. “Before I start my hour of yoga, I often feel exhausted and life just gets to me. The real world can be a very stressful place. But, as I get into the yoga and sometimes close my eyes, it just all goes away. I take a deep breath and realize that we face challenges, but we just need to take breathe and soak in the beauty of life. It's a fantastic way to forget about things for a while.”
- Sleep: The National Sleep Foundation notes that adults typically need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, it also explains that there isn’t a universal number. Experimenting with different sleeping habits will help you find an optimal arrangement.
- Social Life: You need to get away from caregiving. Spending time with friends and talking about things unrelated to your daily grind will help clear your mind and make your life enjoyable.
- Meditation: People who meditate claim that it is a great way to find a powerful sense of tranquility.
- Journals or Diaries: Keeping a journal or a diary provides you with a platform through which to talk about your stress. Some individuals feel that such a pursuit is both soothing and cathartic.
- Laughter: Watch a stupid movie. Read a ridiculous book. Make fun of yourself. You should simply allow yourself to laugh.
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How do you reduce your stress and handle the challenges of being a caregiver? Share your thoughts and experiences in the Comments section below.
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