When did you last set aside time for self-care as a caregiver? Helping someone else when they need it the most is very noble. But, if you put all of your time and energy into their well-being, you may start to neglect your own.
When boarding a plane, what’s the first thing you learn about in-flight emergencies? You must always put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. This same rule applies to caregiving. If you want to be there for someone else, you need to make your own care a priority. Here’s why:
Regardless of whether you’re a short-term or long-term caregiver, taking care of another person requires a lot from you mentally. Instead of worrying about your well-being, you suddenly want to make sure your loved one has everything they need. Unfortunately, around-the-clock service may leave you emotionally drained.
Depression is very prevalent among caregivers. Watching someone you love struggle is heartbreaking, and you may feel like your help isn’t enough. You may constantly worry about their condition. In some ways, you may begin to feel responsible for everything that happens to them. This way of thinking isn’t healthy. Remember that you’re only human. If you’re feeling mentally overwhelmed, it’s best to seek help from others so that you can recharge.
As a caregiver, you may find yourself feeling exhausted physically at the end of the day. Doing extra chores, helping with meals, or bathing a loved one requires a lot of manual labor. Even though you may enjoy what you’re doing, you will feel the effects. Here are some things you may experience:
These physical symptoms may manifest for a variety of reasons. But, in most cases, forgetting to take care of yourself is usually at the top of the list. When you’re tired, don’t hesitate to take a nap. Be sure to prepare several healthy meals each day. Go for a walk to burn calories and get some fresh air. Meditate to reduce headaches and calm your mind. When you return, you’ll feel refreshed enough to provide better care to your loved one.
Being a caregiver is a nonstop job. You don’t have any days off, and it’s sometimes challenging to find time to live your own life. While you enjoy taking care of your loved one, you can’t neglect yourself in the process. Hiring an in-home nurse to lend a hand is one of the best ways to prevent caregiver burnout.
Celestial Care provides in-home nursing services to patients from all walks of life. We handle meal preparation, household chores, and basic care for those recovering from an injury or major surgery. Our nurses also have experience working with patients who have dementia, cancer, or another chronic illness. No matter how much care you or a loved one requires, we can match you with a compassionate caregiver. Get in touch to learn how we can give you more time for self-care as a caregiver.