Caregivers: Recharging Yourself After the Holidays
The whirlwind of the busy holiday season, combined with caregiving and other responsibilities may have left you feeling physically tired and emotionally drained. As a new year begins, it’s important to take time to “recharge” your personal batteries to ease your stress levels and foster a positive mindset.
Read on for practical steps you can take today — and every day in 2018 — to feel revitalized and rebalanced.
Take Care Of Your Health
You need to be healthy yourself to take good care of your loved one, so make wellness a focus this year. Start with eating more fruits, veggies, and lean protein. Try minimizing sugar, processed foods, and caffeine. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
Regular exercise can do wonders for boosting your mood and energy levels, while reducing stress and fatigue. If it’s hard for you to get in the recommended 30+ minutes of exercise on most days, try breaking it up into three 10-minute “mini sessions” instead.
Consider relaxation exercises for your mental health, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation. Humor is another great antidote to stress, so look for ways to add moments of fun and laughter to your day.
Take Time For You
The idea of having any free time may seem like a thing of the past. But making time for yourself can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and getting burned out. In the long run, having regular “me time” will help you be a better caregiver.
- Stay connected with friends. Maintaining close relationships with others can
provide you with emotional support, and remind you that you’re more than just a caregiver. Stay in touch by phone, social media, and in-person visits.
Scheduling a regular event, like a monthly lunch date, will keep you connected.
- Do things you enjoy. Make time for the activities that make you feel happy. Whether it’s walking your pet, reading a book, watching sports, working in the garden, or baking cookies, make those activities a regular part of your life.
- Pamper yourself. Get a pedicure or massage. Buy fresh flowers. Light candles and take a bubble bath. Treating yourself, even in small ways, can have a big impact on boosting your spirits.
- Get out of the house. Even if it’s just for an hour or two, getting out and about can make a difference in your well-being. So, when friends or family members
offer to fill in for you, say yes. (And if they don’t offer, don’t be afraid to ask!) If it’s hard for you to leave the house, invite them over to visit.
Give yourself permission — and carve out the time — to work one or more of these “me time” suggestions into your life. Both you and your loved one will benefit.
Get Support From Others
A caregiver support group is a great way to connect with others who are in the same situation as you. Sharing your feelings, fears, and challenges can help you manage your stress and frustrations. Knowing that you’re not alone can be hugely encouraging.
In addition to getting support and understanding, you may learn about resources for you and your loved one, as other caregivers often have valuable experience and knowledge to share.
There are face-to-face as well as online support groups. Start with an internet search for more information. Your doctor’s office, hospital, care coordinator/social worker, counselor, or faith community may also have suggestions.
Give Yourself A Break
Taking time off your caregiving responsibilities is an important step. Start small, by having a friend or family member come over for a short time. Even if you don’t actually leave the house, having someone else there watching over your loved one gives you time to get away to another room for a nap, a cup of tea or coffee, a phone call to a friend, or to relax with a favorite TV show or book.
Once you’re comfortable, plan for a longer break. If you don’t have friends or family nearby, respite care services can be a wonderful solution. Respite is defined as “a short period of rest or relief from something difficult.” For caregivers, the experience is one of breathing space, emotional relief, and time out to rest and recover.
Our Senior Living Communities Can Help
Hearthstone of Beaverton offers respite care, with short stay options of two weeks or more. Your loved one will be safe and comfortable in our cozy, home-like setting, cared for by a full-time nurse and staff, 24-hours a day. You can recharge, revitalize, and reenergize yourself for the new year ahead while knowing your loved one is well taken care of.
Our second Beaverton location, Hearthstone at Murrayhill, offers a full range of senior living options to fit your loved one’s needs. Independent, Assisted Living, and Memory Care services are all available depending on the level of care that may be needed.
12520 SW Hart Road
Beaverton, OR 97008
10880 SW Davies Rd
Beaverton, OR 97008