If you’re not paying attention to your own attitude as a family caregiver it’s easy to slip into feeling stressed, alone, and a bit beat down. That’s not the best way to take care of yourself or of your aging family member. Following some of these tips can help you to boost your morale and get more out of your life.
Don’t Try to Do Everything All Alone
Too many family caregivers try to get everything done all the time by themselves. The truth is that you’re not alone and you don’t have to be. Take the time to find some help, especially from an experienced caregiver, and share some of the duties with someone else.
Eat Healthy Foods as Often as Possible
What you eat matters a great deal because that’s the fuel that you run on. If you’re eating healthy foods more often than not, that’s going to give your body the fuel that it needs to keep up with the demands of caregiving. This doesn’t mean you have to eat a perfect diet, you just have to try.
Get Rest, But Move, Too
Rest and movement work hand in hand to boost your energy, your mood, and your overall well-being. Find a movement practice that you enjoy because that is going to allow you to stick with it. Make sure also that you’re doing what you need to do in order to get consistently good sleep more often than not.
Work on Stress
Everyone has stress in their lives, but if you let yours consume you, that just makes your job as a family caregiver that much more difficult. Caregiving itself is stressful, too. Look for the things that help you to alleviate stress and include those more often in your day and your week.
Take Time Away
It’s also vital that you take time away from caregiving on a regular basis. Hire a caregiver for respite time and then make sure that you take that time. You don’t have to plan anything elaborate for that time. It can be enough to just be yourself for a little while. You may find that you only need time away a couple of times a month or you might need a few times a week. There’s no wrong answer.
You’re more than just a family caregiver, which means you have to support all the various parts of who you are and what you do.