Family caregivers are often given well-meant advice to take care of themselves, but that’s easier said than done when an individual is balancing caring for an aging family member, holding down a full-time job, and raising children. Caregivers often end up exhausted or burned out because they simply cannot find the time to practice self-care. Self-care is particularly important as we emerge from the pandemic, which put extra emotional pressure and strain on family caregivers. That’s why we’ve gathered our favorite tips to help family caregivers recharge in short bursts. If you can find ten or fifteen minutes in a day to yourself, you can find time for these restorative activities.
- Phone calls. A quick phone call to a friend or family member can brighten your day, and prevent you from feeling isolated. Dial up someone you haven’t connected with in a while and learn what’s going on in their life.
- A hot bath or relaxing shower. We all need to find time to bathe, but we don’t often engage with the practice mindfully. Try to be present the next time you hop in the shower, and maybe try out a new bubble bath or body wash with a relaxing scent.
- A catnap. Even though long naps might not be possible during the daily routine of a family caregiver, resting your eyes for ten or fifteen minutes might be possible. A nap can help family caregivers recharge physically and mentally.
- Flipping through a good book. You don’t have to set aside a huge chunk of time to enjoy the benefits of reading. Pick up a book that speaks to you, whether it’s a novel, art book, or nonfiction book, and set aside time to enjoy a few pages.
- Stretching or yoga. It’s important not to neglect the body while dedicating time to caring for someone else. Pick up an inexpensive yoga mat from a store near you and devote fifteen minutes a day to stretching or following a free yoga tutorial online.
- Crafting. The beautiful thing about crafts like painting or cross-stitching is that you can pick it up for a few minutes at a time and then come back to it later. Try a new art form you’re interested in, or return to one that brought you joy in the past.
- Prayer or meditation. Prayer and meditation are powerful tools to find inner balance and spiritual strength, and they can be completed in just a few minutes. Consider finding a quiet place in the home to light a candle, say a prayer, or meditate for a few minutes.
- Journaling. Jotting down even a few sentences about your emotional state in a journal is a great way to get your thoughts in order and manage your feelings.
- A quick walk. Getting your blood pumping and enjoying a change of scenery has huge physical, emotional, and mental benefits. A brief walk around your neighborhood can elevate your mood for the rest of the day.
- Respite care. When short breaks aren’t enough, partnering with a professional home care provider such as Aware Senior Care, a division of Home Care Assistance, who can match your family with a caregiver is a lifeline.
If you’re interested in arranging respite care services for longer breaks, such as going to visit friends, attending religious services, going shopping, or just taking some much needed “me time,” reach out to the home care experts at Aware Senior Care. We can match your loved one with a compassionate, highly trained caregiver who can help you with caregiving duties. To learn more about our in-home care in Raleigh and the nearby areas, reach out to us online or give us a call at (919) 436-1871.