Resolve to care for yourself too
The new year brings a fresh start. For many people, that means making New Year’s resolutions. Now is the perfect time to resolve to take better care of yourself while you’re caring for your older adult.
It’s natural for family caregivers to put themselves last, but this habit isn’t good for your health. Did you know, the consequences of caregiver stress are more serious than you might think? Statistics show much higher rates of early death and serious chronic illness.
Yikes! We don’t want that to happen to you.
3 New Year’s resolutions for caregivers
This year, protect your health and well-being by making self-care a priority. Here are three New Year’s resolutions to help you take better care of yourself and suggestions for how to make them happen.
1. Get help so you’re not doing everything by yourself
- Assemble a caregiving team – it really does take a village!
- Ask family or friends to help, either with caring for your senior or with chores and errands
- Hire a geriatric care manager to solve problems that keep you awake at night worrying
- Get help or relax your standards for time-sucking chores like cleaning, cooking, and household chores
2. Take at least 20 minutes for yourself EVERY day
- Improve circulation and reduce stress with this easy 4 minute workout followed by slow stretches and deep breaths
- Get lost in a great book or magazine
- Feel more connected by calling a good friend to catch up on “regular” life
- Relax your body and get some fresh air with a casual stroll around the block
- Do something (anything!) just for you. Everyone needs regular me time.
3. Schedule regular breaks
- Get someone to sit with your older adult while you go out (or take a nap) by asking local service or religious organizations for volunteers or using the Senior Companions program
- Hire a caregiver for a few hours each week
- Convince family members to help out on a regular basis
- Use local respite care programs
These resolutions might not be the perfect fit for everyone, but they’re meant to inspire you to find ways to care for yourself. As the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” The healthier and happier you are, the better caregiver you can be.
We know you’re resourceful, capable, and persistent. Create a step-by-step plan for how you’re going to achieve your New Year’s resolutions and then JUST DO IT!
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Greenwood School