Who is a Caregiver? A caregiver is a person who gives up their time, often unpaid, to care for people who need help in taking care of themselves, often the elderly, children, patients with chronic diseases e.t.c
As emotionally and physically demanding as caregiving is, it is one of the most rewarding gifts you can share with another person.
November is the month when we take time to recognize, appreciate, and support these individuals who dedicate their time to caring for a family member in need and making a positive change in our world.
In honor of this year’s National Family Caregivers Month, we’ve compiled ten (10) wellness tips for family caregivers to care for themselves and have an easier life.
Here are 10 Tips for Family Caregivers this National Family Caregivers Month
- Take Baby Steps
Take it one step at a time; don’t think about everything piled up for you at once. Just take it slowly. Thinking about all the stress ahead brings the stress closer, but counting your steps reduces anxiety.
- Take your Health Seriously
As a family caregiver, you can’t give what you don’t have. So, to care for someone else, you must first know how to care for yourself. Don’t skip any Doctors appointment or forget to follow the instructions given to you by any health practitioner. Eat and exercise properly.
- Create a Gratitude List
Sometimes, worrying results from not carefully reflecting on how far you’ve come. Take some time to write down all you are grateful for and all the wonderful things you’ve experienced, and try not to worry about the things yet to happen. Staying grateful opens doors for positive energy. Also, if you can, take journaling seriously. It helps you stay grateful.
- Celebrate Yourself
Life can be so overwhelming that sometimes you get blinded by what’s happening and forget how amazing you’ve become. Celebrate your uniqueness. Focus on all the things you have achieved, not the ones you failed to or are yet to achieve. Be self-aware and live in the moment. Remember that you are celebrating yourself for yourself and not for anybody else, so you don’t need validation from someone else.
- Go for Walk
Taking a walk after a work-filled day or during your break is a great way to unwind, not to mention its health and fitness benefits. Going for a walk after a long, stressful day boosts your energy, improves your mood, strengthens your heart, and does much more.
- Build Relationships
During this period, bond and connect with loved ones, and be open to socializing. Feel free to have heart-to-heart conversations about topics other than caregiving. Laugh your heart out and live in the moment.
- Learn to say “NO.”
You must understand that saying “no” does not make you a bad person. If you feel exhausted and would rather have a long bath than go out on a date, it’s okay to decline. It gives room for you to welcome self-love into your life, and it helps boost your mental well-being.
- Take Time for Fun
A little doesn’t hurt, does it? According to Science, one way to improve our memory and concentration is to have more fun. Research also shows that when we have fun with others, these experiences positively impact us by building trust and developing communication with them. So, free yourself and have some fun.
You work with your mind when meditating. Meditating moves you into a physically and mentally calming space. To transform your space, light scented candles and play soothing music. Then, breathe slowly, listen to your body’s sensations, and be present in the now. Think of forgiveness, love, goals, gratitude, and happiness.
- Ask for Help
As a caregiver, stress, and burnout are sometimes unavoidable. In such times, know that you are not alone on this journey and that there is nothing wrong with seeking assistance. Although asking for help sometimes takes a lot of courage, it’s always worth it.
Who can you ask for help? Your loved ones are always there to help you. It will be very beneficial for you to join a community of caregivers because your fellow caregivers will also be available to help you. After all, they understand how you feel.
Always remember, you can’t care for others if you’re not properly cared for. So prioritize your well-being and practice these tips. Happy National Family Caregivers Month!