With the promise of a new year looming on the horizon, it’s important to take the time to reflect on the past year and figure out how to make this coming year even better. When you are a Caregiver, you can often feel as though you should be doing more for your loved one which leads to stress, guilt, or neglect of your own health.
Here are some great resolutions that all Caregivers could benefit from:
Ask for help when you need it This can be the hardest resolution to maintain. It’s easy to feel like you don’t want to burden your friends or family with your Caregiving issues, but opening up to people can yield amazing results. If you don’t feel as though your family or friends are enough, consider enlisting professional help instead. Many therapists now specialize in Caregiver issues.
Take some “me time” everyday Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, it’s important to take a timeout during the day to recharge. Try listening to music, reading a few pages in a book, heading out to the gym, or simply sitting in a quiet place. All of these things can help bring a sense of calm and peace into your life, which in turn, can help to make you a better Caregiver to your loved one.
Set more boundaries If your loved one requires more attention and care than you are able to give, it’s important to communicate your limits to them. If your schedule is limited because of work or other family obligations, don’t let them pressure you into taking on more than you can handle. Look into Caregiver respite services, which offer Caregivers a break when they need it. There are programs that allow you to pay for your loved one to have great care when you are unable to be there, like Sunrise Senior Living’s short-term stay program or in-home programs that are offered by companies such as Bayada Home Health Care. If you can’t afford these types of services, you can always consider applying for a government grant for Caregiver respite as well.
Improve your sleeping habits A well-rested Caregiver is a much more effective Caregiver. It’s imperative to allow yourself between 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Studies have shown that is the ideal amount of sleep for adults, and it will help you function on a higher level.
Be thankful It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and negativity that can come along with Caregiving, but try not to forget the fact that your time on this earth with your loved one is limited. Try to take the time to enjoy the time that you have left together and let your loved one know how much you love and care for them whenever you can.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy and Healthy New Year!