Care giving can be stressful, exhausting and emotional so it’s very important to make sure you wind down and recharge your batteries to ensure you give the best care that you can.
You need to take care of your body to make sure that you don’t burn out and make yourself physically ill. Drinking water often is a great way to make sure the physical side of your body is functioning well and is hydrated. Even being slightly dehydrated can impact the way the body and mind works. There are a range of mobile phone apps that you can download to remind you to drink even when you are too busy to remember.
Exercise is imperative to staying physically well and it doesn’t have to be intensive. Push for around 20-30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times every week to make sure you are getting enough physical movement.
Eating a balanced diet is crucial to avoid getting into the trap of eating take-aways and junk food. By eating a healthy and balanced nutritious diet, it will improve the way you physically feel, giving you more energy and a lifted mood.
Ways to improve your emotional care include puzzles, games, colouring and activities. This could be in person with the person you are caring for to get them involved, or when you have some free time for yourself. There is a wide range of apps available for mobile and tablet devices.
Make sure you pursue any hobbies or passions that you enjoy keeping your mind focused on positive thoughts and feelings. This will help avoid a burnout whilst working as a live in caregiver.
Be sure to indulge and treat yourself to remind you that it’s okay to enjoy yourself. Going out for a special dinner, getting a massage, treating yourself to a pedicure and meeting up with friends are all great ways to make you feel happy. Make sure to treat yourself often to remind yourself that you matter as well.
A good way to take care of your mental wellbeing is to practice yoga, breathing exercises or meditations. Even ten minutes a day in the morning or evening has been shown to have many health benefits, both mentally and physically.
Spending time outside can also relieve you of stress and anxiety and even increase creativity. You can either do this on your own or take your client with you and experience the great outdoors together.
Books are another way to take a mental break. This could be a long reading book or even a colouring book. Both are therapeutic and have benefits.
Allow a break for yourself with respite care. Taking a break can benefit both the carer and the person receiving care. Respite ‘on-demand’ care can give you that emergency cover you need when you aren’t feeling too well yourself and need to recuperate, or if you have stumbled across a great last-minute weekend break away. You can also book respite care in advance.