November is National Family Caregivers Month, and we want to take a little time to remind caregivers that they must “Take care, to give care.” Whether a friend, family, or hired professional, caregivers typically have quite a bit on their plate and we’re reminding everyone of the importance of taking time to take care of themselves, too. Here are a few ways caregivers can tend to their own needs, in turn helping them take even better care of those that count on them.
Take Regular Breaks
Breaks have been shown to improve productivity and our ability to focus on the task at hand. In caregiving, this can mean a life-saving difference. Caregivers should make it a priority to schedule breaks throughout the day to not only allow their bodies to rest, but also give their minds a reprieve. This will help them get back to work refreshed, recharged and ready to take on the rest of the day.
Staying active is incredibly important, not just for our bodies but for our mental wellbeing as well. For caregivers especially, a regular exercise routine can help improve strength, stamina and ability to provide a high level of care. Whether it’s a walk, run, yoga or whatever other form of exercise, be sure to get moving every single day. Strapped for time? Go for a short walk during your breaks and take care of two important needs in one go.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Food is fuel, we all know that. Yet, how often do we find ourselves grabbing fast food or another less than nutritious option as a quick meal solution? This way of eating is not only unhealthy but also not sustainable, and not nourishing your body in the proper way is sure to lead to negative effects down the road. For caregivers with busy schedules, meal planning is a great way to ensure you always have healthy, nutritious options available throughout the day.
Enjoy Your Social Life
Whether caregivers are caring for a family member, loved one or patient, their selfless nature can often mean their own social lives may be affected. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Caregivers should make time to enjoy outings and activities with friends, significant others and family members. Being in the company of those closest to them, and this sometimes includes the person who they are caring for, can turn a challenging day into a positive, rewarding experience.
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