In the magazines and the newspapers, you read, self-care keeps popping up. You get it. Self-care is important for a family carer’s mental and physical health. What you don’t understand is what that means.
What is self-care? How do you know what you need? How do you make that work when you’re pulled in different directions?
Understanding What Self-Care Means
Self-care is simply the care you give yourself. It can mean meeting your emotional needs, your physical needs, or your mental needs. When you’re looking at self-care, you should address these areas.
When was your last doctor’s visit? How about the last time you saw your dentist? If it’s been too long, it’s time to drop everything and make an appointment. Don’t worry about arranging it around your parents’ care needs. You need to take care of yourself.
During that medical visit, make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. It may be time to schedule important health screenings and scans like bone density, mammograms, and colonoscopies. Make sure you arrange those, too.
Have you been feeling burned out? Are you experiencing anxiety or feel you may be depressed? Don’t try to tough it out. Call a mental health specialist and arrange counseling sessions. You don’t want it to build to the point where you have a breakdown.
When was the last time you took a break? If it’s been years of work, family care, work, and family care without any time to yourself, you’ve overworked yourself. You need to take some time off to go on vacation or have a staycation if it’s all the budget affords.
One piece of advice that some therapists give to people who are feeling overwhelmed is easy to follow. Take an hour each day to do something you love. If you love reading, shut your way for an hour each day to read more of a book you’re dying to read.
You could take an hour to soak in a bubble bath, bake cookies, go for a walk, or knit. No matter what you do, make sure you lock yourself away in a room and do it without others interrupting you. If you need to drown out the noise from other areas of the home, put on some soothing music or white noise.
Determining What You Need Most
Once you know where you need to focus self-care, create a care plan to make sure it happens. If you need to catch up on medical appointments, make it a goal to schedule the appointments within two days or so.
If your self-care plan has you taking a long walk by yourself, pick the best time of day to make it happen. Vacations or staycations should be planned when it’s feasible to travel. Until then, make sure you’re arranging time to yourself.
Your parents don’t have to be alone while you’re taking the breaks you need or attending appointments. Elderly care services can help you take breaks without leaving your parents alone. You can learn more about prices and schedules by talking to an elderly care agency.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Sunny Isles, FL please contact the caring staff at Elite Care At Home today at (305) 231-0555.