Essential Self-Care Practices for Caregivers

Being a caregiver for your loved one can be a difficult and sometimes thankless job. However, it’s also endlessly rewarding to know your elderly parent is in good hands. For every sacrifice made, there are just as many benefits. You’ll know your loved one is receiving the care they need because you see to it yourself. 


Nevertheless, it can be emotionally taxing to care for someone you love in their advanced age. That’s why it’s so important to stave off burnout by practicing self-care. Whether a small practice once a day or a larger outing once a week, here are a few modest ideas to help care for yourself and better care for those you love. 


Get the correct amount of sleep

The National Sleep Foundation found that adults aged 26-64 needed at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Sleep plays an important role in maintaining both mental and physical health. Sleep deficiency lowers your ability to solve problems and control your emotions. So if you’re facing difficulties caring for an aging loved one, it’s integral that you rest the correct amount. 


Practice mindfulness 

Mindfulness is the practice of sitting quietly and focusing your physiological energy toward the present moment. Take five minutes to focus on your breathing and target the present moment. Let the thoughts roll through you without judgment and simply relax. Mindfulness can help you deal with the stress of everyday life in a healthy and contemplative way.  


Exercise 

Even a simple walk can release much-needed endorphins and elevate mood. For this reason, make sure you’re taking time to move your body and stay active. What form this takes is up to you. You could follow a 10-minute yoga routine on YouTube, do some simple stretching, or go for a jog. Try to make a little time each day to care for your body. 


Take a bath

Soak away the stress in a warm bath. Add essential oils or Epsom salts to make things a little sweeter. Grab a book or a drink! Maybe set up some music to listen to as you sit back. Take some time to relax and focus on yourself. 


No matter how you spend your “me” time, it’s necessary to make sure you continue to care for your loved one to the best of your ability. Caregiver burnout is both real and difficult to recover from. It’s important to deal with emotions as they surface in order to properly care for yourself, and subsequently, those you love. Avoid it altogether by taking a little time for yourself each day.