Self-Care for True CaregiversNovember 12, 2020
Our caregivers are essential to us, and looking out for their well-being is paramount. For this reason, we implore you to care for yourself as much as you care for our clients. Last year we offered our caregivers 8 Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout. However, the stresses of all that 2020 has brought us requires more than avoiding mental fatigue. We recognize that self-care is an active part of caregiving, so we've put together this list of things you can do to care for the most valued caregiver, YOU!
Listen to Relaxation Music
Psychology Today says, "Music has powerful and diverse effects on both the body and mind, influencing breathing and heart rate, triggering the release of hormones, stimulating the immune system, and boosting the brain's cognitive and emotional centers." Today there are a multitude of relaxation apps and guided videos on youtube and podcasts that can help you incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine.
Take a Bubble Bath
According to a 2018 study published by the National Institute of Health, immersing the whole body in warm water was found to "induce vasodilation and increase blood flow." (BeLatina.com) If you'd like to add a touch of luxury, bath bombs are a great way to go.
Relax with a Cup of Herbal Tea
Many countries around the world have a tradition of enjoying a nightly cup of herbal tea before bed. Chamomile tea has stress-reducing qualities. Lavender is known to be a mood-stabilizer, while lemon balm aids sleeplessness. My personal favorite is lemongrass, which is not only relaxing but helps with digestion as well.
Try Adult Coloring Books
"Some say adult coloring books help them cope with anxiety, and experts agree there's plenty of evidence to support that notion." (oprahmag.com) Coloring isn't reserved for just kids anymore. You'd be surprised how relaxing and fun this little pastime can be.
Start a Gratitude Journal
We recently posted this article on The Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal. We're sharing it again because gratitude is beneficial for both caregiver and client. You can start one of your own, or you can incorporate it into your client's daily routine. Either way, the benefits are many.
Grow a New Hobby
One of the most surprising results of quarantine life in 2020 is the number of people who have taken to indoor gardening. However, this article from healthline.com shows there is more behind this trend than just pretty green things. There are actual science-backed benefits to keeping and caring for plants indoors.
Another not-so-surprising result of these challenging times is we all miss being outdoors, and this lack of fresh air has increased our rate of developing depression. "Having some contact with nature can reduce chronic stress, explains Dr. Candice La Lima, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist with Northwell Health." (thewell.northwellhealth.edu) Going for a walk in a local park or spending some time in the backyard can help combat this pitfall of COVID life.
Read a Book
"Researchers found that reading was the best way to overcome stress and it can even help prevent certain forms of dementia." (goodnet.org) Reading helps you sleep better, calms you down, and helps tap into your imagination.
"Generally, [meditation] consists of focusing your attention as a way to calm the mind. Breathing is a common [focal] point in many different types of meditation." (psycom.net) The best part of meditation is you can do it anywhere; while in the shower, washing dishes, or walking. You can find guided meditation apps for iOS and Android to get you started.
The most important part of your self-care routine is to get a good night's rest. Not only does it help you recharge, but it keeps your weight in check and promotes mental health as well. Thriveworks.com has some great tips on how to establish better sleep habits.
We hope you will take the time for self-care this month. There are many more ways to practice self-care. We hope you can incorporate these into into your life.
Bonus Tips: eat a well-balanced diet, make time for a quick workout or yoga session, call a friend and catch up, learn a new craft like knitting or crocheting, or watch a comedy for a hearty laugh.No comments found.
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