How often have you as a caregiver put your needs or wants behind those of everyone else in your life? Probably more often than you want to admit. It’s time to remind yourself that yes, you’re a caregiver, but you still matter.
Eat at Regular Intervals.
When did you last eat a real meal? You might not be doing so nearly as often as you need to be, especially if you have some health concerns of your own to worry about. Start paying attention to when you’re eating and what you’re eating. Your body will let you know if you need to be eating more.
Move More, and Preferably Do so Outdoors.
Spending time outside gives you a chance to connect with nature, which can be incredibly grounding and allows you to recharge. While you’re out there, try moving a little more often. Hobbies, like gardening, can help you do both at once. In fact, a Swedish study found that gardening might even extend your life.
Get Sleep When You’re Tired.
It sounds ridiculous, but you should get some sleep when you’re tired. That said, how often have you put off going to bed because you needed to do a few more things around the house that just had to get done? Those chores and tasks are still going to be there when you wake up. Prioritize your sleep and you might improve your energy levels more than you realize.
Nurture Your Needs.
Spend some time nurturing yourself more often than once in a while. When you pay attention to your needs and do what you can to meet them, you’re proving to yourself again that you indeed matter. Your senior’s needs matter, but so do yours. Meeting your own needs is going to help you to meet the needs of other people in your life.
Ask for Help More Often.
You can try to do everything all by yourself, but it gets old fast. Start asking for help more often and accept help when it’s offered. That help might not be exactly how you expected or wanted it to show up, but take advantage of it. You can get pickier about it later.
Paying attention to yourself now and again doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, that makes you a better caregiver in the long run. You can’t ignore yourself in favor of other people or you’re not going to be able to take care of those other people for very long.