Be there for others but never leave yourself behind.
One of the most important things that you can do as a caregiver is care for yourself. If your compassion does not include yourself, it is truly incomplete. It is not selfish to love and take care of yourself. Making your needs a priority is a necessity. It is especially necessary when you are caring for your aging loved one. It’s important to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
There are many ways to take care of your needs so that you can give your best to the aging loved one. One way is to utilize the services of a companion caregiver like to ones offered by At Your Service. If in your role as a caregiver of aging parents, you are also juggling a career and teenage children, you face an increased risk for depression, chronic illness and a possible decline in quality of life. Companion caregivers can provide you with peace of mind home care that gives you an opportunity to take care of your needs as well as the needs of your aging loved ones and your other responsibilities.
In addition to accepting the peace of mind that home care from a companion caregiver from At Your Service can provide, there are many other ways to take care of you.
First is to realize that you cannot stop the impact of chronic or progressive illness for someone whom you care but there is a great deal that you can do to take responsibility for your personal well-being and getting your own needs met. Sometimes caregivers have misconceptions that increase stress and prevent self-care. Some of those misguided mantras might include : “ I am responsible for my parent’s health” or “ Our family always takes care of their own”, or even “ There’s no way that I can find time to relax when so much needs to be done”. One way to promote self-care is to take inventory of your personal thoughts. Ask yourself what might be getting in your way and keeping you from taking care of yourself.
Once you take an honest inventory of those thoughts and attitudes that are personal barriers to good self-care, one step at a time you can begin to look after yourself.
Here are some tools that are effective for self-care:
• Learn and use stress-reduction techniques, e.g. meditation, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi.
• Attend to your own healthcare needs.
• Get proper rest and nutrition. Exercise regularly, if only for 10 minutes at a time.
• Take time off without feeling guilty, employing the services of a companion caregiver helps with this
• Participate in pleasant activities, such as reading a good book, taking a warm bath.
• Seek and accept the support of others. Seek supportive counseling when you need it, or talk to a trusted counselor, friend, or pastor.
• Identify and acknowledge your feelings, you have a right to ALL of them. Change the negative ways you view situations.
It’s up to you to take care of yourself, with the help of a companion caregiver from At Your Service; you can do that with a little more peace of mind.