Care for the Caregiver April 15 2014, 0 Comments

Today, April 16, is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This day helps put a spotlight on talking about and planning for your own end-of-life decisions. But for many of us, before we even get to that point, we will be caregivers for someone else. According to the AARP, more than 54 million Americans are serving as primary caregivers for a loved one.

While being able to care for our loved ones is a great thing, it can also be very stressful and emotionally draining. It is important if you are in this situation to remember to take care of yourself. Otherwise, you won’t be able to give good care to your loved one!

While it may sound very simple, paying attention to a few basic things can help ensure you are a happy, healthy caregiver.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep. Try to make it possible to get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you let yourself become sleep deprived you run the risk of becoming irritable and anxious, and even exacerbating other health problems.
  2. Eat nutritious meals. Yes, it might seem crazy to remind ourselves to eat, but sometimes we are so busy taking care of others we forget to take care of ourselves. Maybe even make lunch dates with friends or relatives, to help maintain your social network. It is all too easy to become isolated when in the role of caregiver.
  3. Get outside a little bit every day. Whether it’s cold and rainy or warm and sunny, getting outdoors is a great stress relief. It will help you remember that you’re part of a larger world, and breathing in some fresh air is a great way to relax.
  4. Keep a journal. Writing out your thoughts and feelings is a good stress relief. A journal can also serve as a way to record special memories and stories of your loved one.
  5. Take a break. Remember, you can’t do it all by yourself. There are plenty of people who are willing to help out, from friends and families to local church groups. If you can’t find someone on your own, reach out to a local support group and ask for help. You can ask people to help out for a few hours while you go out and exercise or meet up with friends, or get someone to help for a few days to allow for a little getaway with a friend or family member.

Here at Go Free Pants, we care about every person looking good and feeling great. For caregivers, taking care of yourself is especially important, and don’t you forget it!