When you are a busy family caregiver, there are some things you need to be doing for your own health. If you neglect these self-care tasks, you’re headed for a world of problems.
Bad Eating Habits
When you’re eating fast food, processed food, or just junk food that has empty calories, your body doesn’t really have the fuel it needs in order to operate properly. While the body can run a long time on just calories, the macronutrients are what’s important. This means getting a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats every day. You want to choose food that is full of vitamins and minerals that your body can actually use.
Not Exercising at All
You might think that running from one situation to another in order to solve problems for everyone else in your life is plenty of exercise. But you really need to move your body. That old saying about “use it or lose it” is true. When you’re not working your muscles and your body, then you lose muscle tone and fitness. Talk to your doctor about reinstating an exercise routine.
Pushing Yourself, Even When You’re Sick
If your first thought when you’re sick is that too many people are counting on you, then you’re probably not staying at home and resting. The problem with that is if you continue to push yourself, even when you’re sick, you’re only going to run yourself down more. There’s only so long that you can abuse your immune system before it fails you in a big way.
Skipping Doctor’s Appointments
You can probably quote the date and time of your elderly family member’s last and next doctor’s appointments, but when did you last go to the doctor? If you’ve been skipping appointments with your own doctor, you need to stop. This is especially true if you have existing health conditions of your own that you aren’t managing the way that you should.
When you’re not getting the sleep that you need, your body and your brain just can’t run at peak efficiency. This is a huge problem when a major part of being a family caregiver is solving problems for the people you love. Figure out what’s keeping you from sleeping well and work out a plan to get the sleep you need.
It’s possible to avoid these pitfalls as a family caregiver, but you have to start paying attention to your own needs. This isn’t selfish behavior at all. It’s called self-care and it’s vital.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Manalapan, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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