Your mom needs your help, so you micromanage your schedule to ensure she has the help she needs every day. It’s getting overwhelming, but you’re not sure what to do. Have you forgotten to take care of yourself? Here are a few ways to practice self-care while home care takes over the caregiving duties for your senior.
Five Things You Should Be Doing For Yourself
To take care of yourself, what should you be doing? Here are the five most important things to do.
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
As tempting as sugary snack foods and fast food is, don’t focus on them for your dietary staples. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy for calcium, lean protein, and whole grains. You need fiber, protein, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Get a Minimum of 30 Minutes of Exercise Each Day
Aim for a half-hour of daily exercise, and make sure it’s a fitness program that gets your heart pumping. A brisk walk, a Zumba class, or bike riding are all good ways to get enough exercise. If you suffer from arthritis, swimming eases pressure on the joints and can make it easy to exercise, even if your joints hurt.
Find ways to de-stress every day. It might mean reading a book to escape each night, going for a long walk, or practicing Yoga. Journaling, painting, and drawing are other stress-relieving hobbies.
4. Join a Support Group
Whether you find an online support group or a local one, make sure you join one. You want to surround yourself with people who can answer your questions, understand your frustrations, and can help you through the rough spots.
5. Stay Social
While you’re taking care of your mom, don’t let friendships disappear. This can be more difficult than you’d imagine. Your friends may not understand how hard it is to take a day off, so they eventually stop asking. Meanwhile, you’re dealing with depression related to being a family caregiver, so you’re withdrawing and need them to realize why you’re withdrawing. It’s a vicious circle.
Make sure you remain social. If your current group of friends doesn’t support you as you’d expect, make new friends. Find other family caregivers in your area who understand what you’re going through.
The Importance of Self-Care
Self-care is the most important thing to do as a family caregiver. If you run out of fuel, what happens next? Just as you can’t make a car go if you’re out of gas, you can’t provide the proper care to your mom if you’re out of physical and mental energy.
Make sure you support yourself by taking breaks, socializing with friends, and letting professional caregivers help out for a change. Arrange respite care to ensure you have time to yourself.
How Home Care Can Help
Home care services are essential when it comes to ensuring your mom is taken care of. When you are trying to balance a job with your mom’s care, you have to assess your ability to help her with everything she needs and have a life of your own. Fill in the gaps with home care services from a local agency.