Self-Care for Caregivers

No one wants to ignore their loved ones when they need support and it’s simply not healthy or practical to completely ignore our own needs either.
This week I worked with three different clients who are caregivers. One taking care of a spouse, another helping with her 90+ year old mother-in-law and another young person taking care of her grandmother.
All of us will be called on, at one time or another, to be a caregiver for a loved one.  This can be one of the most challenging responsibilities we ever take on.  I don’t have children, however I imagine that caring for your own children is different, although filled with it’s own challenges, than caring for a parent or spouse.
Have you been putting yourself 
at the bottom of your To Do list?
There are so many demands and details, especially when we are caring for others, that our own self-care may slide to the bottom of the list.  This often leads to exhaustion, frustration, irritation and may also lead to anger and resentment.  Ahhhh…
There are several, simple ways to stay balanced when you are caring for loved ones:
1.  Make sure you are hydrated and properly nourished.
2.  Keep a regular schedule for sleep and rest, as much as possible.
3.  Get outside to stretch and breathe – especially if you are spending time in the hospital or care center.
4.  Always allow some time to goof off with your favorite activities.
5.  Remember to ask for help whenever possible – are there other family members, neighbors, friends or church members who are willing and available to help?
6.  Find ways to exercise regularly – even getting out for a walk.
7.  Practice patience and loving kindness for yourself and others – this is so important as you are required to make important decisions for your loved one.
8.  Check in with a loving friend, counselor, coach or therapist to share your experience – you are definitely not alone.
Your daily self-care – exercise, rest, meditating, tapping and play and vitally important to your health, sanity and well being.
Always remember to include yourself on your To Do list.
Book Recommendation:
Self-Care For Caregivers by Pat Samples & Diane Larsen