If you’re a caregiver, you know that providing physical and emotional care to a loved one can be physically and emotionally draining. And, although friends and family members encourage you to take breaks and take care of yourself, anyone who has been in the trenches knows it’s not always easy.
The signs of caregiver stress and burnout surface in many ways, including:
- Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
- Feeling chronically tired
- Gaining or losing weight
- Becoming easily irritated or angry
- Headaches and other body aches
So, how can you realistically care for yourself while caring for your loved one? Here are
5 things you can do to care for yourself without breaking your commitment of care:
- Ask for help
It’s okay to ask for help with shopping, errands, and housework. Most often, friends and family are willing to provide support and they like being helpful. You can also ask someone to step in, so you can take a break. Our Highland Block nurse program offers respite care.
- See your doctor
Make sure to tell your doctor that you’re a caregiver. They can prescribe better nutrition and exercises to help relieve tension and stress, based on your situation. Don’t hesitate to mention your health concerns and any symptoms you’re experiencing.
- Use essential oils
These “magic” oils used on the back of your neck and feet can offer peace and calm amid the stress of caregiving. It’s like having a spa day without leaving your home. And, a little splash of lavender on a cotton ball inside your pillowcase at night can be calming and help you sleep.
- Bring music into the room
Music is therapeutic. According to Science Daily, the music of Mozart and Strauss can treat hypertension. Music has the power to soothe and transport you to happier times.
It can also spark happy memories.
- Call for professional help
When caregiving gets to be too much, we hope you’ll consider calling our home health care team. We can do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on loving.
There is no greater gift than providing love and support when it is needed most, but it’s important to take care of yourself along the way.