Often when we are caregiving for our loved ones, it could create an otherwise stressful environment and learning to transition to the new normal may be a difficult task. Those who are stressed are more vulnerable to developing diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis and could be at a potential risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke and heart attacks. It is important to maintain as healthy as a lifestyle as possible, even under your new role as a caregiver. Here are seven tips to help avoid possible caregiver burnout.
- There’s power in positivity. Doing something as simple (or challenging depending on how you look at it) as changing your attitude to a more positive one could alter your perceptions and realities. Are you faced with a new role; such as caregiver, that you may not be prepared for? Yes. But you can take that challenge, rise to the top and project optimism which will only benefit you, and everyone around you.
- Find your Zen. If you find that you are getting stressed out and overwhelmed, take a walk and clear you head. Find your happy place, close your eyes…and go there! Every now and then (especially in stressful situations) it is so beneficial for you to check in with yourself. It’s time to be thoughtful about caring for the caregiver (you!)
- Let go of being perfect. Easier said than done, right? No one is perfect at absolutely everything, and let’s be honest, caregiving is no easy task. If you set expectations on yourself and fail to meet those, then you could potentially be in a vicious cycle of letting yourself down daily by not meeting your own standards.
- Make time to take care of yourself. With all your time spent on caregiving…who is going to take care of you if something happens? With that in mind, it is important to maintain a regular schedule of exercise and healthy eating habits.
- Get organized. Start making lists, and checking them twice! It could be helpful to make sure you are on top of your duties as a caregiver – to remember doctors’ appointments, designated pill times…etc.
- Indulge every now and then. I can’t stress this enough, but it is imperative to make time to do things you enjoy. Go see a movie, or get a cup of coffee…take a trip to the spa or even take a walk. Keep in mind, you might need to take up the help of a family member or find a caregiver to take your place during your mini getaway.
- Pat yourself on the back. I mean it, do it. You deserve to give yourself credit for this incredible undertaking you are tackling each day.
You can read more about caregiver stress here.