The Importance Of Caretakers Practicing Self-Care

Self-Care For Caretakers

Taking care of someone with a disability or a disease can be a challenging time and experience. If you want to be the best caretaker, it is crucial to prioritize your health and practice as much self-care as possible. There are a couple of ways to approach self-care that benefits you and your busy schedule. 

Make Time For Yourself

To refresh, destress and unwind, you must take time out for yourself. Do anything that makes you feel happy and relaxes you. Listening to music, yoga, meditation, walking, gardening, or reading are a few great ways toward off feelings of stress and sadness. 
Giving time to yourself allows your mind to clear and process the clutter and the information stored in it. It improves sleep, reduces tension, makes you more alert, and increases your energy. 

Maintain Friendships

Friends will offer and be a source of support, comfort, and help during difficult times. If you are unable to actually meet your friends, make sure that you keep in touch with them by calling and texting them. The continual contact will make it easier to reach out to them in case of needs and emergencies. 

Ask For Help

Don’t make yourself entirely responsible for the care of your loved one. Do not hesitate to ask for help from family members and friends. You will be able to focus more on giving good care to them when others can help you with everyday tasks and things like laundry, cleaning, groceries, and cooking. It will help in making the task of caregiving less overwhelming.  

Join A Support Group

Joining a support group provides a connection to people who are doing and going through the same caretaking experiences as you are. They can give valuable suggestions and advice based on their own experiences, which you wouldn’t get from friends and family. Sometimes even with family and friends helping as much as they can, it is just not enough.
These support groups also help warn you about what not to do in your situation. If you are uncomfortable discussing your problems with a group of strangers, you can seek private therapy regarding the same issues.  

Control Your Emotions

Our emotions are there for a reason. Whether painful and negative or happy and positive, all emotions tell us something. Guilt and resentment or anger might mean you could be suffering from depression. Learning to control your emotions and learning what they mean and what steps and actions to take is important. 
Learning about your emotions will help you much better through challenging and stressful situations. You will know when to take a break to restore your energy and your strength. You will understand the emotions of the person you are caring for better, making you a better caretaker in general. 

Final Thoughts

Don’t think that taking care of yourself is selfish. In fact, it is an integral part of a caretaker’s job. The only way you can help others is when you help yourself effectively.
Caregivers are at a higher risk of getting depressed contracting a chronic illness, and they are vulnerable to various physical and emotional problems. It is easy to fall into poor eating habits, sleep deprivation, drug or alcohol addiction, and more when you are constantly caring for someone else without caring for yourself. 
Caregiving is like an emotional rollercoaster. You can’t stop the disease or disability of the person in your care, but you can still prevent emotional and physical harm to yourself by practicing a little self-care and taking care of your own health and well-being.