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.

What self-care activities do you practice daily?

Respond by leaving a comment! Thank you for reading and take care! Please share!


Caregiving Shaped My Soul

As a young caregiver, I often dwelled on caregiving’s negative aspects. No wild college parties, spring break vacations, or date nights. My young adult life revolved around caring for my grandmother. We were restricted to the confines of home. Family visited for holidays and special occasions. Observers volunteered unhelpful advice and insisted I should be grateful for my open availability. I cherished moments with my grandmother, but 24/7 seemed excessive. She and I were independent women from different generations. Each needed alone time to gather thoughts and reflect on current life struggles. Alone but together was my 19 year old caregiver mentality.

Our caregiving journey progressed; I matured and found new appreciation for my grandmother. She epitomized strong-will and independence. Strokes and congestive heart failure were debilitating, but never destroyed her youthful spirit. My admiration grew as I watched her battle and overcome painful illnesses. She was my hero, an inspiration who proved a strong will to live could conquer seemingly fatal obstacles. Her love for living was contagious and I’m glad I caught the bug. Independence was taught through encouragement. Self-doubt turned into confidence. She surfaced my forgotten inner-strengths.

Maturity brought faith related questions. Why do good people suffer? Why is life so unfair to kind and gentle individuals?  I’m still searching for the answers. Caregiving revealed lost emotions and gave my life purpose. I easily empathized with all living things and shared concern for the welfare of others. There’s always some good in bad situations. Was I satisfied with my grandmother suffering from illness? No. However, this obstacle and life’s spontaneity determined my morality and mentality. Caregiving created an independent, mature adult devoted to the happiness and well-being of others. Responsibilities were no longer burdens and life was beautiful.

Caring for an ailing loved-one is stressful and mentally draining. Remember and reflect on the positive experiences. Realize your growth by documenting personal and emotional changes. Caregiving granted me new perspectives. Light exists at the end of seemingly endless tunnels. I’m patient, understanding, and sympathetic to the needs of others. My appreciation for humanity is ever growing. The elderly are no longer lonely, crotchety people loathing the sight of youth. They’re fascinating, charismatic, wise human beings surviving life. Aging is not a burden, but a blessing. The wisdom and love learned through aging is life’s greatest experience. I’ve newfound respect for the Greatest Generation. They provided us the world in which we live and freedom to love ourselves and others equally. My grandmother showed strength thought nonexistent. She’s my inspiration. Our 11 year journey established my character and integrity. Caregiving shaped my soul. Thank you for reading!



Mid-Week Motivation for the Caregiver….Quote #8


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

WINSTON S. CHURCHILL

Mid-Week Motivation for the Caregiver….Quote #7


Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.

BERNICE JOHNSON REAGON

Caregivers Need Stress Relief

Caregiving is perceived by non-caregivers as thoughtless work requiring no effort or participation. Caregivers stay home, give medication reminders, and complete common domestic tasks while enjoying their favorite afternoon soap opera, right? Wrong! Caring for the frail, ailing, and disabled is a grueling task repeated daily with limited sleep. Monotonous labor intensive schedules cause physical and emotional stress. Constantly answering demands of care-recipients leaves no time for self-care. Balancing work schedules and doctors’ appointments is almost impossible. Worrying about the welfare of a loved-one and having no one to discuss the possible devastating outcome leaves a mind heavy and drained of hope. No one cares about a caregiver’s anguish and suffering. Their health is no concern as long as non-caregivers can continue their uninterrupted lives.  

Caregivers need adequate stress relief and dependable support systems in order to perform daily functions effectively. Depression, mental breakdowns, and aggression are all results of an overworked caregiver. Endless days and long nights allow no sleep. Caregiving duties are continuous and rarely end at a specific time. There’s no TGIF or end-of-day routine. Weekdays and weekends blend together.   

When are caregivers given the opportunity to de-stress and rest? A break is a rare instance when a family member volunteers to watch the care-recipient for a few hours and the caregiver sneaks away for a little alone time. These few hours are usually spent worrying or wondering what other daily tasks need to be completed. Sadly, caregivers often don’t receive relief from their hectic schedules. Care continues until the care-recipient is satisfied or has fallen asleep. Completion may take minutes, hours, or an entire day.

Caregivers providing in-home care for loved-ones don’t have consistent work schedules and are unable to make “after work” plans. They live and sleep in their workplace. Relentless hours and limited sleep will break even the strongest person. Caregivers are expected to carry on with a smile without inconveniencing onlookers. Their crying episodes, social isolation, and anger outbursts are considered ridiculous. How can staying at home caring for one person be so stressful? You need to get yourself together! Oh you would rather put him/her in a nursing home? How can you be depressed? You’re overreacting! These are questions and statements expressed by family and friends to stressed caregivers.  

Caregivers understand the demands and struggles of caregiving. These forgotten heroes need stress relief in order to maintain sanity and provide consistent quality care. A simple telephone call from a friend or relative allowing a caregiver vent time is sometimes all that’s needed. Refusing and ignoring their requests for help is narrow-minded and selfish. Without stress relief, caregivers cannot adequately care for patients. Lack of focus and physical exhaustion hinder completion of daily tasks. Denying help results in emotional breakdowns. Constant worry of grim medical outcomes causes depression and anxiety. These conditions are treated with an anti-anxiety medication prescription. The caregiver has now become the care-recipient. Caregivers’ anxieties, depressions, and stress are preventable by volunteering time and offering respite care. Thank you for reading. Take care and please share!