It can be so easy to forget about your own care when you are responsible for another person’s care. But what happens to them if you get sick because you forgot to schedule in some personal care? Let’s not think about it now and focus on keeping both your health and emotional wellbeing on the right track with some easy to follow tips.
When we sleep our bodies start to repair the physical and emotional damage of that day; essentially recharging our batteries. If we start to cut down on these hours, then our bodies will have less and less energy to rely upon and then a simple cold will linger on and on until it turns into something a little more serious. The experts say around 7-9 hours’ sleep a night is recommended as a ‘good night sleep’ but if that proves difficult, try and take some time out of the day to fit in a couple of power naps to top those energy levels. It’s amazing how revitalised you will feel after just closing your eyes for 10 minutes.
Trying to fit in three healthy meals a day can be quite a challenge when someone else’s needs supersede your own. But why not try and use their routine to your advantage? Eat when they eat (not always easy but you might find some days are better than others). Where possible start the day with a decent breakfast that is going to keep you going to at least past lunchtime and always have to hand a quick and healthy snack to fill the gaps between one meal and the next. If you can prepare some or even all of that day’s evening meal the night before that means you can just pop in the oven whilst you take care of whatever needs taking care of. Maybe once a month or even a fortnight you might even get a chance to bulk cook some easy to freeze meals.
Take a break
When you are the main carer, it can be impossible to take a break from your responsibilities, but even an hour or two can make all the difference. Just do not use the time put aside for your own care to catch up with chores. Take a break from everything and do something that only involves you; take a long lingering bath, go for a nice walk along the beach, finish that book you’ve been trying to since Christmas. No one is going to begrudge you a little ‘me’ time after all the care you give to others.
Keep a healthy balance
It can be so easy to pile too much upon your plate and find yourself overstretched both mentally and physically. No one can do it all. Know your limits and be sensible with your time. Keeping a weekly schedule will allow you to keep track of the days ahead and spot any gaps in your calendar that you can put to good use (power nap, ‘me’ time, hobbies).
Asking for help can be a difficult thing to do and near on impossible when there is only you to do the caring. But what if it is just someone else’s opinion or advice that you need? In today’s society the internet allows us to get just that at the touch of a button. Being a carer doesn’t mean you are on your own, there are thousands upon thousands of carers doing exactly what you are doing and know how hard it can be at times. There are so many support groups online that offer carers a place to go without having to worry. Take full advantage of this virtual world and share your worries with people who know how you feel. Taking care of yourself does not just mean your body, your mind is just as important.