Family caregivers lead the pack when it comes to experiencing burnout. Caregivers often sacrifice self-care for their loved ones, which means their own health can deteriorate rapidly. It’s critical for you to properly take care of yourself while taking care of a loved one. Today, Chesil Radio shares a few ways that caregivers can relieve some of the burdens of care and make their own needs a priority.
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Optimise Healthcare and Social Welfare Use
Being a caregiver can mean you shoulder both the physical and financial burden of managing a loved one’s care. While most care situations at a clinic or hospital are covered by the Health Service Executive, you should also be aware of other benefits for caregivers. The HomeCaring Periods Scheme is an important resource for those caring for loved ones at home that may qualify you for a State Pension.
Get Plenty of Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Preventing strokes and stroke recovery requires a healthy diet. So, help your loved one by making sure they eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with every meal and take a daily vitamin. You may want to consider taking a vitamin, too, especially if you are feeling a little sluggish, unmotivated, apathetic or even depressed – all signs of burnout. Taking in more vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium can all help your physical and mental health.
Exercise and Move Every Day
Exercise, in general, has a major impact on everyone’s mental health, so it’s no surprise that both caregivers and those recovering from a stroke benefit from more daily activity. A healthy cardiovascular system is foundational for beating stress, anxiety, and panic disorders, which many caregivers in the throes of burnout report. Plus, exercise improves muscle, bone, and joint health, which can protect caregivers from injury related to slips, trips, and falls. Regular exercise (the HSE recommends 30 minutes of moderately intense activity five days per week) also makes you stronger mentally, as well as physically. For example, exercise has been shown to boost mood by increasing endorphins and reducing tension in the mind and body.
Take a Vacation
When you’re taking care of a loved one, making time for rest and relaxation is essential. It’s important for your wellbeing and mental health that you get some time to yourself – time you can spend doing things you enjoy or, even better, doing nothing! Get away, even if just for a weekend, to a nearby vacation rental and enjoy time to yourself.
Prioritise More Restful Sleep
Sleep is a self-care essential that many people sacrifice, especially caregivers. However, a good night’s sleep is the very thing you need to maintain high energy and a happy attitude throughout the stresses of the day. When you have trouble sleeping, you may be fatigued as well as increasing your risk for a host of significant health problems.
If you have trouble falling asleep, consider starting a bedtime routine to help your body unwind and settle down. It can be useful to take time when addressing your sleep issues to examine your home for sources of negative energy and clear them out. If you have trouble staying asleep, especially due to anxiety or worry, practice meditation and breathing techniques that encourage you to let go and live in the moment.
Caregiver mental health is a whole mind-body concern, which is why it takes a whole-body approach to manage. Emphasise activities that make you stronger and more flexible in mind and body to help you balance life and work while sustaining a positive outlook as a caregiver.
This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit: https://www.chesilradio.com