Try these tips from the experts to help create more health and wellness into your important life of caregiving.
You don't have to "do it all" yourself. In fact it's best to have more than one person involved in caregiving. Whether it's accompanying your loved one to appointments, helping with housework, or cooking dinner one night a week, ask other family members to lend a hand. And if someone asks if they can pitch in, don't be afraid to say yes!
At times, you may feel like there's something more that you should be doing, or something you should have done differently. Rather than ruminate on what could or should be, give yourself credit for all that you do. If feelings of guilt are especially strong, it can help to talk with a counselor or a social worker.
Frequent exercise delivers proven health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure- and it can be a powerful energy and mood-lifter too! Try to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week. If that doesn't seem doable, don't worry- some exercise is better than none.
Catch up with friends by phone or email, or plan weekly walks or a regular lunch or movie. Ask people to drop by and visit with you or the person that you are caring for so that you can take a break and feel connected with the world outside your caregiving world.
Listen to music you like, take a luxurious bath, dabble in creative pastimes, or even splurge on a massage. You can also learn meditation or other relaxation techniques through a class, video, or book!
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