It's easy to lose yourself in the midst of being a Caregiver and that can result in higher levels of stress. It can often feel selfish to tend to your own needs before anyone else's, especially when your loved one has memory loss. Remember that neglecting your own physical, emotional, and mental health can lead to Caregiver burnout.
Don’t let that happen to you! Incorporate these tips to avoid Caregiver burnout:
1. Exercise – Incorporating daily movement is beneficial to your mental, emotional, and physical health. It can be as simple as going out for a quick walk. As you begin your walk set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes, and when the timer beeps, turn around and head home. This is something you could even do with your loved one.
2. Take a Deep Breath – Some people like to meditate, others may nap. Take a few moments to quiet the mind as you inhale deeply for a count of ten and exhale for a count of ten. Incorporating this practice early in the morning before starting your day or at night as you are getting ready for bed will be beneficial.
3. Healthy Meals – Preparing meals in advance before you get too hungry can help avoid making food choices that will leave you feeling groggy, bloated, or uncomfortable.
4. Stay Hydrated – Drinking enough water throughout the day helps regulate body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells, and keeps organs functioning properly. 1
5. Join the VirtuALZ Network – By becoming a member of VituALZ, Caregivers will have access to the Care Navigation team. This team includes an assigned Care Navigator supported by a Social Worker and a Registered Nurse and fits seamlessly into a Caregiver’s everyday life through calls, texts, and emails.
While some days might be more difficult than others, neglecting your own health and well-being will not make being a Caregiver any easier. Start small by adding one of these five steps to your daily routine.
1. Harvard School of Public Health