Caregivers often set aside their self-care needs to make sure the person they are taking care of have everything they need. This is a very common practice for caregivers.
But the truth be told;
You’re not the best caregiver unless you take care of yourself.
If this is you here are 5 things you can do today to start taking better care of yourself:
- Eat a balanced diet
Eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing your fat and sugar intake may help increase your energy levels as well as make you feel better. If you are not eating a healthy diet it may increase your risk for unwanted diseases such as: hypertension, stroke and diabetes.
Staying active has its benefits. Most experts recommend walking (if possible) for exercise. It reduces stress and keeps your joints moving. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can take a break and walk in place. As a caregiver think of different ways you can work some sort of exercise into your daily routine.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
If you do not get the recommended amount of sleep it can lead to so many other things. Caregiving is a physically and emotionally draining job. Some caregivers take naps when their family member or whomever they take care of takes a nap. If at all possible get plenty of rest. Your body has to have time to replenish itself.
- Take a Break (RESPITE)
Respite means break. In the caregiving world it means “break for the caregiver.” You must get away for breaks so you can make it as a caregiver. Some breaks that you will take will be long but most will be short.
Please remember . . . “You can make it if you take a break.”
- See your doctor
Make it a point to keep up with your own doctor visits. I know that this is easier said than done, but you must keep your own appointments as well. The person you take care of is really counting on you and you must take the extra initiative to make sure that your body is well.
STOP RIGHT NOW. . . Write down your appointments for your next visit to your PCP, Ophthalmologist and Dentist.
Ladies please make sure to schedule your annual breast exam and remind a friend. (See www.SisterPact.com)
Men don’t forget to schedule your exams too!!