Being a caregiver tells so much about your humanity and care for the others, but never forget that you have to take care of yourself first.
In this article, we are about to reveal some of the caregiver tips that will help you maintain your mental and physical health.
We are talking here about non-professional caregivers in the first place, but even if you are a professional caregiver, our article will open your sights additionally.
What is a definition of a caregiver?
If you are actively caring about someone, you might get into a situation where you start neglecting your role and forget about the fact that you need some support and care too.
That is why we decided to write an article about caregiver tips that will make you feel better about yourself so that a person in need gets a chance to feel even better by your side than before.
Caregivers Face with High-Risk Factors
We know how much you care about a loved one and how hard you are trying to make that person feel good and loved.
Caregiving itself might bring you many rewards, as you want to provide fulfillment of the needs of your loving person, which makes you happy at the same time.
However, be aware of the fact and don’t neglect situations where you might feel frustrated, sad, angry, exhausted, or alone.
You as a caregiver experienced many emotional switches during the last period, but you might didn’t find a way to cope with it.
Don’t worry – it is not only you, as all the caregivers go through this phase occasionally, but our caregiver tips will help you look at the things from another perspective.
We want you to be honest with yourself first and then let us know – are you under a stress?
As you care about the health of a person you are taking care of, then you should care about your health even more.
Some of the risk factors caregivers face every day are:
- Some people don’t even have the option to choose if they would want to be caregivers at all,
- Long-term stressful situations might affect problem-solving skills so a caregiver feels lost,
- A caregiver doesn’t have the choice to determine how many hours a day he/she will spend in caregiving,
- In case a caregiver lives with a disabled person, he/she might give up further education,
- Which additionally leads you into financial issues in some cases,
- Or social isolation – depending on the stress level a caregiver is exposed to,
- Coping with depression.
Signs You Are Exposed to Stress
The first time that you notice that you forgot about yourself, that is the second of when you are starting to get into a depression.
Too much stress can’t affect you well, especially if it lasts for a long time and you are exposed to it in your home.
We don’t want you to feel bad about yourself, as every living human being needs enough sleep, carefree moments, time for their hobbies, socialization, enough physical activity, well-balanced diet, etc.
If you are providing care to someone you love, provide care to yourself too, as the person in need won’t hold against you.
If your resistance to stress reached the key point, then you might find yourself in a situation where:
- You feel tired and worried constantly,
- Gain or lose weight often,
- Have the need to sleep for days or don’t have the need to sleep at all,
- Are feeling sad or depressed often,
- Get irritated, angry, or provoked easily,
- Experience headaches, migraines, or any type of body pain and physical problems,
- Start using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs or medications, or you start consuming any of these much more than you used to.
Caregiver Tips to Feel Better About Yourself
In case you want to prevent becoming stressed or you recognized some of the symptoms we enlisted in the previous paragraphs, then make sure to follow our caregiver tips and strategies that will help you.
- Focus on your abilities and set realistic goals
The rule number one when we talking about caregiving is that there is no perfect caregiver.
We are 100% assured that you will give the best of yourself to make a person in need feel unballasted, understood, and loved.
However, you don’t have superpowers and you won’t be able to complete all the daily tasks perfectly, but you have to believe and understand you are giving all of yourself.
You might feel guilty for something, sometimes, but don’t let yourself sink into that feeling, as that will affect negatively both you and a person in need.
After all, you are not a machine so that you don’t have to overthink about eventual unrealistic goals.
Focus on what you are doing the best and try to improve at things you feel insecure with.
It would be best to break your daily tasks into smaller sections, prioritize, establish a routine and you will notice things seem much easier.
- Be open to people who offer help
We know you believe you can do it all by yourself, but accepting help doesn’t mean you are not good enough in caregiving or that you don’t care enough.
Contrary, other people may see how much you have on your back and want to help you with the chores and giving care.
For example, if a family member or a friend offers to take a person in care for a walk or pick up some groceries from the store, run an errand, cook, help with taking a bath, or anything else – accept the help without feeling guilty at all.
Taking a rest out of some things will surely go down well on you.
- Research caregiving communities and support groups
If you would have the chance to talk to people who are caregiving persons with the same needs as your beloved one, you might get a whole new perspective out of it. You just need laptop to go online.
Luckily, there are many communities that teach lessons about caregiving or talk about caregivers themselves too.
You might hear some of the best caregiver tips if you join one of these communities.
Additionally, some of them provide some of the caregiving services, such as housekeeping, meal delivery, or transportation.
A support group is one more way to reach to some of the caregiving resources, but, what is the most important here – it can provide you as a caregiver with validation and encouragement.
If you find it difficult to cope with everyday issues, the support group will open up some problem-solving strategies that will help you get to an end with a tough situation.
What is absolutely great about support groups is that members are other caregivers, who know what are you going through and have already been there.
If you join one of these groups you will find some answers you have been looking for, but also meet some new friends and develop them.
Some caregivers forget about their social lives completely, as they focus only on a person in need.
Try as much as you can to stay well-connected with people who mean to you – friends and family, as they won’t ever judge you and will give you emotional support.
You should find some time every week to go out and connect more with other people, even if it would be for one hour or two.
- Pay attention to your health
We already mentioned this in the past paragraphs, we want you to understand that we stress out this topic with a strong purpose.
In order to maintain your daily activities properly, you should sleep at least eight hours a day, drink plenty of water, eat healthily, and find some time to be physically active.
It might seem boring, but setting goals and establishing a routine will help you protect your health.
Caregivers usually have bad sleep patterns and neglect the need for more sleep, but this might have some serious effects on health in the long-run.
One of the best caregiver tips is to see your doctor regularly.
Don’t keep the fact that you are a caregiver to yourself – share it with your doctor and don’t think twice about mentioning some of the potential symptoms you are dealing with.
Caregiver tips : Conclusion
Sooner or later you as a caregiver might come to a point where you are overwhelmed with thought, emotions, memories, stress, and worries.
That is why it is so important to clear your mind and your soul and help yourself first so that you can help a person in need.
Remember that you are a wonderful person and that anyone would be lucky to have a caregiver like you, but there is no way to take the burden on your back.
There will come a moment when you will feel exhausted or down so don’t push your limits – accept that help your friend or a member of family offers.
We understand how responsible, humane, sometimes stressful, but lovable job of a caregiver is so that we wanted to give you some caregiver tips that will ease the situation so that you and a person you are taking care of feel better.
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years. Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER