Self-care is something that you hear a lot about as a caregiver because it’s so vital. It’s a key part of what keeps you going so that you can still be there for your elderly family member when she needs you the most.
Why Do You Need a Balance of Self-care?
Too much of anything, bad or good, can create problems for you as a caregiver. And if you’re not paying attention at all to your self-care, that’s got you out of balance from the very start. Balancing your self-care means that you’re getting what you need and some of what you want, too, and that you’re able to do as much as possible for other people in your life, too.
Starting to Find Your Balance
Starting to figure out where you are in that balance can feel a bit off-balance itself. That’s because you probably don’t think about self-care much and you don’t worry about whether you’re doing what you need to do for you. So it’s going to feel weird at first to focus on your own needs and wants. If you don’t push through the weird phase, though, you won’t get the big benefits from later on.
You don’t have to rush this process. Much like exercise, you don’t want to push yourself too hard or too fast. Start out by thinking about what you need and go from there. Make small changes that help you to meet those needs. If sleep is a big issue for you, start with why you’re not getting the sleep you need. If there’s a medical cause, you can start to solve it. The problem could be with your nightly routine, too, and that’s something you can alter.
Figure out What Works for You
Another part of doing this at a slow and steady pace is to give yourself time to notice and to implement changes that work for you. If something you try doesn’t work, let it go. There’s another solution and you can give that a try next. You’re not going to land on the exact right answer first thing every time. There is going to be some trial and error involved.
Self-care is like most other things in life. If you’re operating within a system that’s fairly balanced, everything will work together much more readily. Finding that balance might feel complicated for you, especially when you first start looking at all of this. But be patient with yourself and with the process so you can reap the benefits.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Hamilton, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.