Saint Paul, Minnesota
275 East 4th Street, Suite 345, Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 796-2540
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Self Care for Caregivers is Essential: 5 Ways to Focus on “You”

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Self Care for Caregivers is Essential: 5 Ways to Focus on “You”

Providing quality care to a loved one starts by taking care of yourself, and your needs. Self care is not selfish, it is necessary. Here are a few ways to invest in yourself and focus on “you.”

Becoming a family caregiver requires an investment of your time, patience, and emotional wellbeing, and it’s easy to suddenly start to minimize your own personal needs. If you are experiencing any of these common struggles, know that self care is not selfish, and it is essential if you want to consistently provide the highest quality care. 

Self care is much more than just the occasional break from caregiving responsibilities, it is a process of deliberately investing in your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Making self care a priority in your caregiving regimen has the power to increase your productivity, reduce stress, improve focus, and strengthen relationships, including the relationship you have with the loved one in your care. 

If you have yet to practice self care as a caregiver, here are 5 things you can start doing today.

Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule

A good night's sleep is important for your physical and mental health, and goes beyond just good self care. If your role as a caregiver is impacting your ability to sleep, you may need to focus on creating a sleep schedule that fits into your schedule. Define a lights-out time, and have resources in place, if needed, to support your plan (for example; scheduling an overnight caregiver so you can sleep through the night and be alert throughout the day, or a volunteer who can spell you while you take a daytime nap). Creating a sleep routine will allow you to communicate your schedule to your support network so that you get the rest that you need to recharge.

Exercise and Focus on Nutrition 

Another way to incorporate self care into your life as a caregiver is through exercise. Exercise not only improves your physical health, it can also provide you with an outlet to combat stress. Self care is all about including self-initiated activities in your life that help you maintain your health. Walks and stretching are easy ways to start slowly and build up a routine that works around your caregiving responsibilities. 

Find time to Relax and Not Feel Guilty

It is important that everyone, including caregivers, have time in their schedule to relax. Without relaxation you can quickly become burned out by the demands of your responsibilities and the quality of the care you provide a loved one could be compromised. Some of the health benefits of relaxation, stated by the Mayo Clinic, include lowering blood pressure, reducing anger and frustration, improving sleep quality, and creating an overall better mood for most people. 

Self Care for Caregivers

Find Ways to Communicate Feelings

Open communication with your family, friends, and support network is important when it comes to caregiving, your health, and ability to practice self-care. Be transparent and let those around you know how you are feeling, and if you need some support or access to any resources to manage time and make your experience as a family caregiver more fulfilling and sustainable.

The American Heart Association published an article all about impactful communication tips for caregivers

Accept that it is OK to Ask for Help

Asking for help is OK, especially if caregiving is impacting your health or ability to invest time in yourself. There are many resources available to family caregivers in the Twin Cities area, including respite care. Drawing on the support of an in-home care agency, such as Comfort Keepers, to deliver respite care can help you find the time to invest in yourself and your personal needs, and in turn, expand your capacity to give.

Comfort Keepers is Here to Help

Comfort Keepers not only has deep experience helping seniors live more safely in the comfort of their own home, but also in helping family members and family caregivers find emotional relief and support. Call our office today at (651) 796-2540 to speak with a member of our care team.