Being a full-time caregiver is an emotionally and physically taxing
job. People with that level of selflessness often find it hard to take time for self-care, but they must. Consider these seven easy ways, shared below by Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp, that you can take care of yourself while you take care of others.
1. Get Some Exercise
Exercise is the easiest thing to throw away when you're short on free time. However, it's a necessity for your physical and mental health. You don't need several hours a day and a gym membership to get in some exercise. Simply take the stairs rather than the elevator or go for a brief walk during the day when you have a break. Even 15 minutes in the sunlight can change your overall mood.
2. Prioritize Nutrition
It's easy to grab something processed and unhealthy when you're on the move. Fast food is a quick fix that allows you to get right back to work quickly. However, these options offer little to no nutritional value If you want to keep your energy up. Take some time on the weekend to plan your snacks and meals for the week. You can still grab a burger every now and then, but you'll feel better overall with a well-balanced diet.
3. Meditate to Reduce Stress
Caregiving is a stressful job. You need an outlet to help you reduce stress daily. Research shows that meditation improves brain health and lowers cortisol levels when practiced regularly. Incorporate a few minutes of meditation into your morning every day to help reduce stress.
4. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Use your free time to nurture your relationships with the ones you love. This can be difficult for an introvert, but everyone needs community in their lives. Spending time with your loved ones will make you feel more connected to the world outside of your caregiving position.
5. Take Up a Relaxing Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to relax when you have a high-stress job. Think about something that you love to do and start investing more time into that hobby. Knitting, puzzles, yoga, baking, cooking, painting, and dancing are all excellent hobbies that produce more endorphins and eliminate stress. If you enjoy being outside, gardening has many benefits. You can soak up vitamin D, get some exercise, and grow nutritious foods to add to your diet.
6. Take a Short Trip
Allow yourself a weekend getaway every now and then. If you prefer some alone time, take a spa trip or go to your favorite beach location. If you want to create some quality memories with your family, take them along with you.
7. Appreciate the Simple Things
Don't forget to appreciate the simple things in life that can bring you joy. For a book lover, taking the time to sit down and read a good book can rejuvenate the mind. Slow down and take a bubble bath when you have a chance. It's a great way to relax. Take the time to cook a delicious meal and enjoy the finished product. You can find peace in the small joys.
Keep in mind that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others. Keep these tips with you to use when you start to feel burnt out or tired. It's okay to stop and help yourself when you're in need as well.