Family caregivers spend a lot of time focusing on their mom and dad. They often ignore their own needs. How long has it been since you took a day off and really focused on yourself? Fatigue and caregiver burnout are serious problems you face. If you’re not your best, how can you give your parents the best care?
A self-care checklist should be a part of your everyday life. Every day, you should have at least an hour to yourself. Use this hour to relax and focus on what you need right now and in the days to come. Set priorities based on those needs. These are the things you need to prioritize.
Your Physical Health
There are four components to physical health that you need to consider. Make sure you do these four things on a regular schedule.
- How much exercise are you getting? This isn’t a short, slow walk with your parent. You need 30 minutes per day of moderate activity. You need to get your heart pumping.
- Most adults require at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you can get 8 hours, it’s even better. There are studies that link a lack of sleep to certain chronic health conditions.
- How is your diet? You need to eat lean proteins, whole grains, and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. If time is tight, there are quick, healthy meals you can make that are far better options than takeout Chinese or a frozen pizza.
- Fourth, when did you last see your doctor? If it’s been a while, it’s time to schedule an appointment. It may not be fun, but your health depends on it. You should be screened for common health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression.
How often are you able to socialize with others? Go out with your friends or significant other. Attend a support group and make friends with others who know what it’s like. Attend a class to learn or refresh your first aid and CPR skills. Go to a fitness class and spend time with others that way.
Your Mental Health
Focus on your own mental health, too. Take time to yourself by going for a long walk along the beach or a nature path. Set aside an hour or two to take a hot bath while reading a book. You can even schedule an appointment with a therapist to help ease feelings of anxiety.
Make sure you have time for yourself by hiring caregivers to give you a break. Home care services will help you find the best caregiver for your parents’ needs. They take over while you go out or have time alone. Call today to find out more about respite care from caregivers.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Lakewood, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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.
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