Caring for a loved one can be difficult even for the strongest people. As a caregiver it is important to take steps to care for your own health and wellness. With all of the stress many caregivers experience, it may be hard to manage before it gets to a point of complete caregiver burnout.
In order to keep your job rewarding and less stressful, there are things you can do. Here are some ways you can manage your stress in your caregiving position:
Ask for Help When You Need It
When you find that you aren't doing your job as effectively or that you are starting to wear thin, there's no shame in asking for help. If you try to put too much on your plate, things will only get worse. Using other people and caregivers as a resource or for help is highly encouraged in the healthcare industry. There is only so much one person can do.
Find Caregiver Support Groups
Connecting with other caregivers who experience similar situations can help you to feel encouraged and to learn from your peers. Caregiver support groups can not only help you with your job, but with your social life. It doesn't hurt to make a few friends along the way.
Set Personal Goals
Keep your mind set on goals you have for yourself personally. Aim to go to the gym a certain number of days every week or set a goal to read a book in a few days. If you occupy your time with things other than just caring for your loved one, things will be easier for you. Certainly what you are doing for your family member or friend is extremely important, but it's also important that you don't lose yourself in the midst of everything.
Go on Vacation
Okay, we know this might not be as easy as it sounds. With buying airplane tickets, getting a hotel and all of the planning there is so much you have to worry about before sailing away to paradise. Even if you have family with a beach house or you take a “staycation” it makes such a difference to just be able to relax. If you are a family member caring for a loved one it might not be as easy as an employee at a nursing home.
Have a Healthy Diet
Time isn't something that you have a lot of when it comes to caring for an elder, but you should be taking the time to give your body the food and nutrients that it needs. A quick fast food meal might seem like an easy “pick-me-up” to save time, but it also tends to be a quick let-down.
Caring for yourself physically is key to having a healthy lifestyle as a caregiver. This isn’t another lecture about getting enough sleep and putting the right kinds of food into your body. However, we can’t stress to you how important it actually is. With the right amount of rest and a good diet, you’ll have the energy you need to perform well.
Take Your Breaks At Work
From caregiver to caregiver, we all know how hard it is to catch that well deserved break. Sometimes you just get caught up with so many tasks it can be easy to skip over your break. By making an effort to schedule a break and actually take it, it could make all of the difference.
Being a caregiver can be so rewarding if you know how to manage your work and personal life. One of the keys to a healthy balance in your life is to always remain positive. Instead of thinking of all of the things that seem difficult or that you can't do, think of all of the things you have done and the difference you are making in the life of your loved one.