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Unfortunately, some people underestimate the importance of self care for care givers. Obviously, if you’re like most caregivers, you probably do a pretty good job of caring for the most important people in your life. However, you probably forget the most important person: You.
Obviously, the better care you take of yourself, the better you’ll be able to care for others.
Without a doubt, self care for caregivers needs to become a habit, perhaps the most important habit you can have. Sadly, we neglect ourselves in many ways. Unfortunately, this is a critical error.
Self Care Ideas for Care Givers – Adopt These 8 Habits
Take a nightly walk. You’re killing two birds with one stone when you go for a walk alone. It’s a great time to think. Part of your mind is occupied with moving your legs and maintaining your balance. The rest of your brain is free to think creatively.
You’re also getting some good exercise. Most of us spend far too much time sitting each day. Getting up and accumulating a lot of steps is good for the mind and body. I aim for 10000 steps a day and use my smart watch to track my progress throughout the day.
2. Use positive affirmations. Negative self-talk is the norm. You can undo this and give yourself a better perspective on life by using positive affirmations. Come up with just a few and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. Over time, you’ll be pleased with the results.
3. Eat healthier. Our natural instincts are to eat high-calorie foods that aren’t particularly good for us. Unfortunately, this instinct greatly reduces longevity.
Eating healthy can be a real challenge, because it goes against our nature. However, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel mentally and physically when you clean up your diet.
It’s hard to rise above the quality of food you put into your body. Even with conflicting diets and advice out there, you have a good idea of what foods are healthy and which aren’t. Experiment with different diets and take note of their effects on your mood, sleep, energy, and focus.
4. Read each day. Reading is great for brain health. Those that read daily have better cognitive abilities than those that don’t.
Reading is also a great opportunity to learn something new. Imagine how much you could learn over 20 or more years by reading 30 minutes each day. That’s roughly 3600 hours, or 90 40-hour workweeks.
5. Unplug. Your brain needs a rest from the constant stimulation of the internet, your smart phone, TV, tablets, and so on. Give yourself at least a few hours each day of complete rest from these items.
Use These Tips for Self Care To Take Care of YOU!
6. Sleep at least 7 hours each night. Everyone seems to claim they only need 5 hours of sleep. Every one of them is incorrect. The science is clear on this. To maximize your health, you need at least seven hours of sleep. Some people need more.
Set up a regular schedule for sleeping and stick to it. It’s not too hard to convince yourself of the importance of sleep. All you have to do is skip one night to experience the powerful impact of sleep on your wellbeing.
Sleep provides a time for restoration and rejuvenation. Go to bed and rise on a consistent schedule. Turn off the television and block out street lights and noises if they’re keeping you up at night.
7. Keep a gratitude journal. Sure, it sometimes seems like there’s nothing good in your life, but that’s almost certainly not true. There are plenty of good things in your life. You’re just failing to recognize them. Remind yourself about all of these positive things by keeping a gratitude journal and writing in it each day.
Gratitude is good for your soul. It creates hope and contentment even in trying circumstances. It’s easy to forget how much you already have if you’re not practicing gratitude each day.
8. Get some gentle exercise each day. A little extra movement can do a lot of good things for your body and your brain.
You don’t spend hours on the treadmill like you’re training to race up the side of Everest, but a little sweat and heavy breathing can bring about some great changes.
Exercise has a positive effect on your mind and body. Exercise enhances your ability to sleep, uplifts your mood, and can increase your longevity. Get at least 3 hours of exercise per week.
Are You Performing These Important Activities for Caregivers?
Self-care for caregivers is among the most important activities. When you take care of yourself you show the world that you care about yourself. More importantly, it shows YOU that you care about yourself.
Too many caregivers are too focused on helping others and not focused enough on your own care. You can’t do much for others if you’re not taking good care of yourself. Make yourself a priority, and you’ll be more useful to those in your life, both at work and at home.
Self Care for Caregivers- Physical, Emotional, and Mental
- Grooming. This can be a good gauge of your mental health. Those with significant mental health issues often neglect their grooming. It’s important to look and feel your best each day. It’s amazing how much a good shower, and flossing can do for your mood and attitude.
- Practice forgiveness. Forgiving others has a powerful effect on your physical and emotional health. It also frees your mind from negative recurring thoughts and allows you to make more progress in your life. You’re only stealing time from yourself when you hold on to negative feelings toward others.
- Spend quality time alone. Spending time with others is important, but it’s important to spend some time alone, too. Everyone needs to get away and be alone once in a while. Again, how much time you need to spend alone is an individual preference. Make time for this important self-care strategy for caregivers.
More Ideas to Help You Reach Your Goals
If you want to reach your personal and professional goals as a caregiver, self-care belongs on the top of your to do list. Indeed, when you protect your health and wellbeing, you give yourself the strength you need to succeed.
Ironically, we often abandon self-care for caregivers just when we need it the most. Feeling overburdened and overwhelmed can make you more likely to skip meals or miss workouts. On the other hand, if you make self-care a regular habit, you’ll create habits you can depend on to see you through major setbacks or minor irritations.
Clearly, be good to yourself. Use these tips to start developing your own personal self-care plan.
Self Care For Caregivers – Eating and Exercising
- Dine in. Save eating out for an occasional treat. Preparing your own food gives you more control over what on your plate. It’s another high-impact strategy for eating healthy.
- Manage your weight. Being overweight or obese can drain your energy and increase your risk for serious health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Control portion sizes and talk with your doctor if you need more help.
- Stay hydrated. Your body needs water to perform its functions, including controlling your heart rate and digesting food. While most adults require about 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, you can usually rely on your sense of thirst to figure out your individual needs.
- Stay active. Incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine helps you stay fit. Stand up while you’re talking on the phone and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use this journal to track your lifestyle habits
Other Self Care Tips For Caregivers
- Think positive. Studies show that optimists live longer and have stronger immune systems. Look on the bright side and count your blessings.
- Manage stress. Find relaxation practices that work for you. You might enjoy soaking in a warm bath or getting a DIY home massage in a quiet spot.
- Take frequent breaks. Scheduling some downtime makes you more productive. Stand up and stretch when you’re working. Pause in between errands to drink a cup of tea and calm your mind.
- Delegate wisely. Focus on the tasks that match your strengths. Try to transfer the rest of your responsibilities to others, whether that means hiring a housecleaner or trading assignments with a co-worker.
- Develop a hobby. Fill your leisure time with meaningful activities. Creative pastimes can help you relax and feel accomplished.
- Be assertive. Stand up for yourself. Ask for what you need tactfully and directly. Remember that you are worthy of respect and consideration.
- Stay connected. Cultivate close relationships with family and friends. Make time in your schedule for family dinners and coffee dates. Invite a new colleague out to lunch. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in awhile so you can catch up.
- Seek inspiration. Find something that motivates you. You might want to join an online group or go hiking to admire the view.
Make These Self Care Tips a Priority
Reduce stress and accomplish more by making these self-care strategies for caregivers a top priority. Treating yourself with compassion and kindness is essential to your mental and physical health.
Therefore, self-care is an important habit to develop if you are a caregiver. Being at your best is good for everyone around you. When you fail to take care of yourself, you limit how much you can give to others who depend on you.
Definitely, if you’re feeling down and out, give extra attention to your self-care. You deserve your time and attention just as much as anyone else.