To be your best self for the person you’re caring for, we’ve put together five self-care tips for caregivers.
- Make sure you get enough sleep. Caring for a loved one can be very tiring and the stress of caregiving can make sleep difficult. Adequate sleep can help with physical fatigue. It can also help with mental sharpness and may make you feel less irritable. If possible, try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. If you have trouble falling asleep, try meditation exercises or over-the-counter supplements such as melatonin (if it’s okay with your doctor or pharmacist). Exercising more often will also help you fall asleep at night. You may not have much time to dedicate to exercise but taking a few 10-minute breaks to walk or move can help. You should also make sure your bedroom is a good environment for sleep. That means having your bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
- Watch your blood pressure. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, caregivers’ high level of stress can lead to high blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly to make sure it’s not too high. If you need to lower your blood pressure, try some of these lifestyle changes that may lower blood pressure. You should also talk to your doctor about controlling your blood pressure.
- Take a break. Whether it’s spending 30 minutes on a hobby you enjoy, going for a walk or reading a book, take time for yourself. If your loved one can’t be alone, ask a friend or family member to sit with him or her while you take a break.
- Let people help you. The weight of caring for a loved one can be difficult to carry alone. Let the people in your life do what they can to help you. Whether it’s running an errand for you or giving you a few minutes to yourself, allowing others to help is essential to your health and well-being.
- Talk to other caregivers. Even though you’re not the patient, it’s important for you to have resources and support. Try joining a support group either in person or online. There’s comfort in talking to others who experience the same ups and downs. Other caregivers can also offer tips that may help you and your loved one.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at (561) 588-4545. Thanks for watching today’s Monday Mojo and we will see you again next week!