When it comes to family, it’s easy to feel like you have to do it all. Like noone can care for your family members the way you do. Sending a loved one off to a nursing home doesn’t feel right, so you volunteer yourself to handle your older family member’s needs.
Millions of people struggle today just to take care of themselves. It’s twice as hard when you are expected to care for another person. You can push yourself too hard because it seems manageable, but when you get worn out, you jeopardize your dependents’ health as well as your own.
The good news is that you are not alone. Caregiver stress is real, and if estimates are to be believed, 45% of those caring for parents or spouses report an increased level of stress.
You cannot help others if you don’t take care of yourself. So how can you help yourself?
Look Out for Your Needs – Be Selfish Sometimes
Taking care of your family member doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all your needs and wants. Sadly, many people have trouble prioritizing themselves at times. Taking breaks seems like a luxury, but without them, it’s easy to become detached from your regular life and your friends. Don’t let that happen. Isolation isn’t the solution. Make sure you create time in your schedule to visit with friends or other people on a regular basis.
Maybe a long vacation isn’t possible. But a day out, a relaxing bath, a movie or a book is a good way to start. You deserve that. You can do that when your loved one is resting. It is also okay if you have a friend, a relative, or a hired senior caregiver that you can trust to care for your loved one and give you some much-needed time off.
Watch Out for Burnout – Maintain Boundaries and De-Stress
Yes, you’ve heard it all your life. “Put family first.” That doesn’t mean you have to neglect yourself. If you’re responsible for caring for family, your health is tied to theirs. When your health suffers, those around you will experience significant challenges as well.
Don’t tell yourself, “I am not doing enough.” Say, “I am doing my best, and I deserve to focus on myself.” Get some exercise, eat healthily, and make sure to get enough sleep. All of those are necessary if you don’t want to feel drained at the end of the day.
The key is balance and not allowing your whole life to revolve around one particular role you play. When the day is done, set clear boundaries between your caregiving life and your personal life. Take a long walk in the park, have a phone call with a good friend. No matter what, do at least one thing you love and enjoy every day.
Don’t Lose Your Touch with Reality – Accept Help
Caring for your family members is the most noble thing you can do. But you cannot stop a long-term or incurable illness or the effect of a weakening injury. All you can do is make it easy and comfortable for your loved one to heal. They might need medical care or help that you are unable to provide. And, understandably, you’ll need a helping hand – a friend, a relative, a senior caregiver. And if you don’t know who to go to, Celestial Care has your back.
Our professional nurses are very experienced in attending to patients with a variety of healthcare needs, including very advanced conditions. You might be struggling to find a balance between your job and your family and caregiving. Don’t worry; we are here to help you make sure your loved one is well cared-for while you attend to all of the other aspects of your life.