Who is Caring for the Caregivers?
Let’s face it, as much as we love those we care for, the day-to-day, 24/7 responsibility can at times be stressful. And that’s fine to feel stressed or tired, however you as a caregiver need to also be taking care of yourself. It can be overwhelming and physicians often refer to caregivers as “hidden patients.”
Signs you may be letting life run you:
- Low energy levels
- Feeling moody or say – crying or depressed
- Having trouble eating – either too much or too little
- Can’t get out of bed
- Losing interest in your hobbies
- Not finding time for yourself
- Feeling angry or resentful toward the person you are caring for
These are all common signs of caregiver burn-out and are commonly experienced, so don’t feel discouraged as there are other people who are going through a journey similar to your’s and are facing these challenges themselves.
Here are a few tips to live by to make sure you are staying healthy, strong and stress-free.
- Get support
- lean on other family or friends for help – and take them up on their offer you assist you
- join a local support group to meet others experiencing your same challenges
- talk to your physician for a list of resources to help you throughout the day
- Make time for yourself
- refocus on your hobbies
- take short breaks – an evening walk or a weekend away with friends could be the recharge you need
- Don’t ignore your physical & mental health
- keep regular visits to the doctor
- rest when feeling fatigued
- opt for healthy food choices & take a few minutes to exercise each day
- keep a journal
- Consider respite care for short-term adult day care services
- Focus on what you can do – don’t feel guilty you can’t do everything, the house may be messy but dinner’s on the table and everyone’s happy
Caregivers can easily fall into the trap of believing they have to be all things to all people, and put themselves last on the list. Please don’t make that mistake. Take advantage of resources, support and tools available. Remember, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for those you love.