Self-Care Tips for Caregivers

Caregiving is a time-consuming responsibility that’s physically and emotionally draining. Sleep is a luxury enjoyed sparingly. Life is consumed by the care-recipient and self-care is seemingly non-existent. Observers emphasize the importance of self-care, but never volunteer time for its completion. Many caregivers are restricted to the confines of home and don’t have infinite self-care options. Few are allowed the time for walking or jogging nature trails. There are no gym visits or facials and massages. Every minute of the day revolves around the care-recipient’s needs.

How can time for self-care be integrated into your hectic schedule? Take advantage of available time during the day. Correctly utilizing brief moments allows for proper self-care management. Relieve stress and boost your confidence by practicing these beneficial self-care tips.

  1. Compliment yourself each morning. Compose a list of your best qualities. Read this list when in doubt of your self-worth.
  2. Perform an emotions self-check. Sit calmly for a designated amount of time and ponder exactly what you’re feeling. Document those feelings.
  3. Limit the negativity transpiring in your life. Eliminate people and social media serving no positive purpose in your current lifestyle.
  4. Look through a window and appreciate the surrounding natural environment.
  5. Let loose! Turn on your favorite tunes and get lost in the music. Learn to laugh and enjoy being you.
  6. Complete controlled breathing or moderate stretching exercises.
  7. Create an in-home exercise routine suitable for your time schedule and fitness level.
  8. Re-evaluate your diet and include healthier versions of the foods you love.
  9. Realize and document your thoughts and concerns. Suggest an open discussion with family and friends to voice your objections.
  10. Splurge and treat yourself to a favorite food, new wardrobe piece, or 10 minutes of alone time.
  11. Change your monotonous daily schedule by integrating one new activity.
  12. Find a secluded location within your home and sit in silence for a short moment. Block out surrounding sounds and concentrate on breathing.
  13. Walk outside or sit near a window and absorb a little sunshine.
  14. Indulge in a 10 minute power nap and return to caregiving refreshed.
  15. Circulate aromas throughout your home stimulating mood and senses.
  16. When given the opportunity, ask for and accept help.

Self-care is a lifestyle change involving consistent care of the mind, body, and soul. Bodily systems work in unison to create a physical, mental, and emotional balance. Integrating the mentioned tips into your daily schedule will alleviate everyday stress and improve self-confidence. Open your mind and allow yourself deserved care. Thank you for reading! Please share!


10 thoughts on “Self-Care Tips for Caregivers

  1. When I cared for my father and mother, I lost weight, which was a thrill! I needed to lose weight. I lost it, but gained exhaustion. I got 4 hours of sleep a day or night, depending. Mother finally hired someone to help Daddy for 4 hours daily so I might rest. It was expensive, but I was tired. My daughter fared better than I did. So calm and easy. Worked hard but didn’t tire. Got up at night with me and her Granpaw. I went grocery shopping and thought I would disappear into thin air! Or maybe I was in a dream. I cooked 3 meals a day, washed clothes, dried them, etc and cleaned house. My daughter helped. My mother was difficult to get along with, so that was extra stress. She liked my cooking tho!

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    1. Where have you been!? I just read your newest post…I’m glad to hear you’re sleeping better! While caring for my grandmother, I also survived on only 3-4 hours of daily sleep. My sleep pattern led to weight loss and extreme exhaustion. I never had respite care offered or provided. You’re lucky your mother recognized your tiredness and hired a helping hand. The stress of caregiving is often overlooked until caregiver exhaustion shows its ugly face!!

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      1. Things have been happening here at the nursing home that are crazy. I thought about writing, but was so tired! 3-4 hours of sleep isn’t enough. I never believed the doctors on MASH. They couldn’t do seamless surgery on so little sleep. Humbug. Rest is essential to our wellbeing. Thanks for missing me! I looked you up first thing! Are you still a care giver?

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      2. I agree! Rest is a necessity! Thank you for keeping me in mind! I’m married with two lab pups…my caregiving days definitely haven’t ended! Hahaha When you don’t post, I begin to worry! I enjoy and look forward to your honest posts! You have a knack for writing!

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  2. I forgot! To keep going, at first I read, helped Daddy as much as possible, kept clean, etc. There wasn’t much spare time to do anything for myself. While there, my daughter had to go to Emory for an MRI on her heart. Since she has a difficult time being still, they gave her a sedative. Boy! Was she out of it! Her brother took us and brought us back. She has always had heart surgery every so often. Anyway, that was at least a break. I got outside!

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    1. When caregiving there is very little ME time! Like you, my few outings consisted of doctors’ appointments or ER visits. Everyday life was limited to the confines of home! I’m so happy to hear from you! Thank you for looking in! Stay healthy and continue getting quality sleep!!

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      1. I apologize for my delayed responses! You’re always in my thoughts! I’ve been traveling a bit and haven’t had reliable internet access. But, I’m now back to civilization and will be A LOT more responsive!! I appreciate your thoughts and kindness. Thank you for being patient with me!

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  3. A caregiver often forgets about himself/herself while caring for the patient. This takes a toll on the caregiver’s health and worsens the entire situation.
    I agree, we need to care for ourselves, but, there are times, when all we need is some peace and quiet and loads of uninterrupted sleep., isn’t it? 🙂
    As I read the points you mentioned here, I wondered why I did not follow any of these when I was caring my mom-in-law. These are things a person would do on any day, but for me, these never even entered my mind. It was only too full of stress and anxiety about her and her health. it took its toll on me and today, even 4 years after her death, I get nightmares that we have run out of her medication. 😦

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    1. Agreed! Caregivers are constantly worrying about the health and needs of the patient and neglect their own. Yes, sometimes all that’s needed is silence and a soft bed! The overwhelming feeling encountered during caregiving doesn’t allow us to think simply. We’re always trying to answer complex WHY questions and often overlook the most simple actions, ie…taking a few deep breaths or complimenting ourselves. I can understand your nightmare encounters. Whenever I see a pill organizer or hear an ambulance, my heart races and I’m brought back to my caregiving experience. It definitely sticks with you! Thank you for your informative response! Talk to you soon!!

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