Self-care is an important topic for family caregivers as much as it is for anyone else. As family caregivers, we can be introduced to an inordinate amount of stress. Sometimes we encounter stress on a daily basis depending on what stage we are in along our caregiving journey.
As a caregiver, we tend to hear the question, “What are you doing for yourself?” quite a lot. It’s always a question we don’t like to hear or hesitate to answer because we know we are probably not doing enough if we are actually doing anything at all. We will skip over our needs to make sure we are helping meet someone else’s needs.
That’s what we are here for, right? We are caregivers because we are here to give care. We have a hard time receiving things whether it is help from someone else or recognition from ourselves.
Yet, our ability to function at the fullest and best possible level for our career means we have to take our health just as seriously as we are taking theirs.
There are countless analogies about this, take your pick – You can’t drink water from an empty well, or one of my favorites, On a plane, in an emergency, you must put on your oxygen mask first before helping someone else.
Pick your favorite analogy and run with it but whatever else you do after that, make sure you are finding ways to care for yourself.
Ask yourself every day: “What have I done for myself today?”
For me, it can be as simple as making sure I eat three balanced meals a day, taking a walk, reading a book or magazine, playing a game on my cell phone during a break, or even taking time out to listen to the radio. Some activity that helps me unplug from the stress of the day and focus on myself and fulfill one of the core areas of self-care.
In self-care, there are at least eight core areas: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, professional, financial, and psychological.
For the basis of this dive into self-care, I am going to be focusing on the first five categories highlighted above.
Stay tuned for more and make sure you’re following us on all our social media platforms so you don’t miss anything!
Do you have something special you do for self-care that you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let us know.