Being a full or even part time caregiver for someone with dementia or a chronic condition like cancer can be difficult. It’s not uncommon for caregivers to get burned out in their roles, and that’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself. This stress can lead to issues with both your physical and mental health, but there is help and hope for caregivers.
- Take a break. Taking care of someone else in addition to all your other responsibilities can make it feel like you never get a break. However, it’s important for you to get a break and time for yourself. Communicate with other family members or friends about your need for help.
- Reduce stress. We know this is easier said than done, but try to lower your stress as much as possible. Taking breaks as mentioned above and getting time to do things you enjoy is one way to help. Reducing stress in other areas of your life like maybe hiring a cleaning service or using grocery delivery or hiring out other, similar tasks may be small ways you can reduce your overall stress.
- Exercise. It can be hard to fit exercise into your busy caregiving schedule, but there are lots of physical and mental health benefits to exercising. Even just a short 10 minute walk each day can make a big difference.
- Eat right. We understand that sometimes, it’s easy to go with the fast and convenient food choice over the healthy one. However, simple swaps and good, healthy choices throughout your day can make a big impact on your well being.
- Get enough sleep. If you’re caregiving round the clock, this can be a hard one. If you need to, recruit some help from friends and family to try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night or if this isn’t possible, a shorter amount of time at night with a nap during the day.
Learn more about the resources available for caregivers through Sowega Council on Aging.