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Five important self-care tips for caregivers

 Caregiving can get overwhelming with time (Photo: Courtesy)

Caregiving is definitely a heroic calling. It’s not every day that you find someone who has the courage and strength to take care of someone who might be terminally ill, the elderly or anyone that needs support to do everyday activities.

Although caregiving is a fulfilling thing to do, there comes a time when you start to feel overwhelmed. And the reality is that there are many caregivers who are suffering from severe stress, depression and anxiety.

It’s very tough to push through every day when you can feel yourself breaking down. If you get to this point, the best option is to pause and put your mental health first. These self-care tips will show you how you can balance your work and home life as a caregiver:

Accept when you’re not okay

It’s very hard for other people to truly understand the demanding responsibilities you have as a caregiver. People can assume that since you have been doing it for a long time you don’t have any serious challenges but for you, the story is different.

It’s okay to push yourself and be the best at what you do but it’s also essential to accept your limitations.

Just know that simply doing your best every day is enough.

Don’t isolate yourself

Having someone to vent to can help anyone feel better. In this situation when you’re feeling stressed out, worried or depressed, you need someone who can listen to you instead of bottling all these feelings inside.

You can start by joining a support group where you will find others who are dealing with similar struggles or open up to friends and family who can help you deal with difficult emotions.

 Separate your work life from your personal life to help you create a balance (Photo: Courtesy)
Enjoy other aspects of your life

It’s important to separate your work from your life. Although it’s a job where you connect with the person you’re caring for on a personal level, there should be times when you allow yourself to live your life outside of work.

Spend time with your friends, have date nights with your partner and give yourself room to enjoy your life. Remember that you have a life too separate from your caregiving responsibilities that need your attention.

Take a break

Regardless of the profession, it’s possible to have a toxic relationship with your work. This is where you attempt to extend yourself beyond breaking point and this is usually disguised as working hard.

The problem with this is that it only leads to deep mental health problems and physical stress as well. You need to schedule breaks when you can and bring someone else who can help you out.

If you’re taking care of a family member for example, you can request another relative to fill in for you for a few days as you get the rest you desperately need.

Treat yourself

As you try your best to be there for everyone else, don’t forget to be there for yourself. You need something to keep you motivated and treating yourself often is something that you shouldn’t shy away from.

You can get your hair done, get a massage, revamp your closet and spoil yourself once in a while.

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