Being a caregiver can be hard. Caregivers often equate their role with putting their own needs aside for the sake of their loved one, but this shouldn’t be the case. Studies show that caregivers have high rates of depression and even increased mortality rates! Caring for yourself will ultimately make you a better caregiver for your loved ones. Here are 5 ways you can take care of yourself as a caregiver:
Whether in the form of other family members, friends, or complete strangers, find some emotional support. Seek out someone in your life who is willing to listen, or a local support group to talk to others going through similar experiences.
With the increased pressures of being a caregiver, it’s normal to feel a range of different emotions. Don’t ignore these emotions; try to process them and understand why you’re feeling sad, angry, or guilty. Sometimes we can make changes in our lives for the better when we understand our feelings. Always remember to seek professional help if you feel sad or depressed constantly for more than two weeks; this could be a sign of depression.
Being a caregiver does not and should not have to be a one-person job. Find family and friends to help with even little things such as transportation, meals, or babysitting. You’ll be surprised by how many people are eager to help out once you ask!
Find some time to take care of yourself. You may feel like your life is on hold, but keep eating healthy, exercise, and find a period of time to relax. Do things that you enjoy and make you happy. This will help you feel better and more rested and ultimately make you a better caregiver for your loved one.
Oftentimes friends and family want to help or give advice, but do so in unhelpful or unproductive ways. We all welcome help and sometimes it’s hard to refuse any help in order to not seem ungrateful. If someone offers to help, try to give them one or two concrete things that you do need help with to maximize your productivity and at the end of the day, they’ll feel good knowing that they really did help.
Let us help you! Wellist can help you find the support that you and your loved ones need.