Being a caregiver is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be overwhelming and difficult. It is a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year commitment, and this can result in you needing just as much care as the person you are looking after. Here are some ways that you can take care of yourself.
Focus on What You Can Provide
Sometimes you might feel like you’re not doing the best job you can. Maybe you feel like you aren’t actually much help to the person you are caring for. However, this really isn’t true. Nobody is perfect and nobody expects you to be. A caregiver faces unexpected challenges daily and if you can get through these then you are doing brilliantly. Don’t be so hard on yourself and believe that your best is good enough.
Join a Caregiver Support Group
Talking to people in general will help if you are feeling stressed about your role as a caregiver. Joining a support group will be a huge benefit to you. You will be able to communicate with people who are going through the same struggles and difficulties. It will help you to feel like you are not alone and can also be a good source of advice and problem-solving tips.
Set Personal Health Goals
You can spend so much time worrying about the health of others that you forget to take care of your own physical, mental, and emotional health. Set yourself some small health goals to make sure that you are taking care of your mind and body. For example, you could try to eat more fruit or squeeze in a couple of hours of exercise each week. Yoga can be a very relaxing and refreshing activity.
Seek Social Support
Don’t keep all of your worries and fears to yourself. Share them with your friends and family. We all worry too much about being a burden on the people who love us. However, we could never be a burden to them because they love us. Set aside some time each week to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Even if it is only an hour a week, that hour could make a wealthy of difference to the way you feel.
You are not Superwoman/Superman; you are only human. Sometimes humans need help. It is not a reflection on your skill or ability if you need a bit of assistance sometimes. It does not mean that you have failed in any way. Take help when it’s offered and make the most of it.
To learn more about taking care of yourself when you’re a caregiver, contact Qualicare Family Homecare at 613.366.2899. We’re on your side.