You can’t always be there. But we can.
A common piece of advice for caregivers is to start putting yourself first, but that feels impossible when there’s so much to do for your senior family member. Putting yourself first isn’t about being selfish or putting anyone else last. It’s about making sure you’re in the right space both mentally and physically to be a caregiver.
You’re Not Ignoring Your Health
One of the biggest mistakes that caregivers tend to make is that they begin to ignore their own health in favor of focusing solely on their senior’s health. You can’t do this for too long, especially if you have chronic health issues of your own. You need to be visiting your own doctor and paying attention to basics of your health, like eating well.
You’re Getting Lots of Rest
If you’re getting the rest that you need, it’s a lot easier to focus on all of the essentials in your life, including your senior’s well-being. But getting the rest that you need is a conscious choice when you’re a busy caregiver. If you’re not able to sleep well, talk to your doctor about what you can do to change that.
You’re Having Fun with Hobbies
There’s more to life than all the things you have to do. You need to be doing things that you enjoy doing as well. Hobbies are one of the easiest ways for most people to do the things that they love. If you’ve never explored the idea of hobbies before, you might want to revisit the idea.
You’re Keeping Your Social Life Going
Relationships are difficult for caregivers, not because they don’t want relationships, but because time and energy are limited. The problem with that is that you need the relationships in your life in order to stay emotionally healthy. Reach out to the people that you love on a regular basis and keep those relationships going.
You’re Not Allowing Caregiving to Be All That You Do
If you need only one rule to follow in order to take better care of yourself as a caregiver, that rule might be that caregiving isn’t the be all and the end all of what you do. You’re a whole person, not just a caregiver, and if you can remember that then it’s easier to remember to put yourself on your list.
When you’re having a difficult time putting yourself first, senior care providers can be the best answer. Senior care providers can ensure that your aging family member is in good hands while you focus on doing what you need to do for yourself.