You only grow elderly once in your lifetime, this is something many fail to see whenever they care for a senior. Yes, you may be caring for someone, but some day you will be in their shoes and that’s why it is important for caregivers to give the best for their seniors. However, we do admit that not everyone is perfect and caring for a senior is not a walk in the park.
The life of a caregiver is very demanding, especially with all the expectations and adjustments that one has to go through, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget about yourself. Here are a few ways on how you can survive as a caregiver.
1. Keep a good routine daily
Routines are part of the caring process and they help a lot if you want to cope with other emotions that you are feeling. Even if it is just a morning ritual such as getting up, showering, making breakfast and watching the morning news – it will help a lot. If you’re always anxious, it is best to stick with what is more familiar to you. Trust us, your family, especially your children, will be grateful for it.
2. Take self-care seriously
This is one of the things that caregivers often take for granted. They don’t give themselves enough self-care. Never skip check-ups and exams and always inform your doctor if you are currently caring for a sick loved one. This way you are not only finding ways to help others but you are also doing yourself a favor by caring for your own body.
3. Take time to exercise
Over and over again, you must have heard it – exercise is a must. And yes, we will stress it again: exercise is important for a caregiver’s survival. However, you can always have fun while staying fit. Try opting for an exercise that you will know you will have fun like taking long scenic walks, dancing, swimming, biking, etc. The reason behind why we stress exercise is that it helps your body produce those feel-good hormones, aka endorphins, as these help fight the stress hormones you produce when you are under stress.
4. Never scrimp up on self-rewards
This is something caregivers always take for granted. As someone who works hard day in and day out, you surely need a reward for that. Make a list of the things you enjoy, no matter how small it is like a fresh cup of brewed coffee on mornings, a manicure-pedicure spa, a relaxing massage or even an afternoon’s worth of shopping spree. Giving yourself rewards for the good work will not only make you feel good about yourself but it will also reduce the anxiety you feel from the stress.
5. When in doubt, take a breather!
And by this, we mean really take a breath of fresh air. This is because whenever we are anxious, our breathing becomes shallow and this deprives our lungs the capacity to expand and circulate the right amount of oxygen we need. This then affects our body’s production of antistress hormones. It is found out that even just taking 10 minutes off to take slow, meditative breathing helps ease your heart rate and calm your emotional state so that you can think more clearly.