Important Self-Care Strategies for Family Caregivers

Self-care refers to any activity intended to boost mental, emotional, or physical welfare. Caregivers sometimes spend all day taking care of their senior loved ones, and self-care often falls by the wayside. Here are a few self-care strategies caregivers should try to adopt. 

Sleep More

Sleep-deprived caregivers are more likely to be stressed, irritable, and unfocused. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night, but don’t set a healthy sleeping goal just to enhance your caregiving abilities. Self-care isn’t selfish, but it is self-motivated. Try to enhance your sleeping habits for the sake of your own health. 

Changing deeply ingrained sleeping habits can be challenging, so don’t give up if you don’t get eight consecutive hours of sleep on your first try. Shift your sleep schedule by 15 minutes every few days, eventually landing on a schedule that allows you to get some much-needed rest. Keep track of your sleep progress in a journal, which may provide an extra bit of motivation. 

Hiring a professional caregiver can allow you to take a break from your caregiving duties to focus on your health and wellbeing. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care in San Francisco, Corio by IOA should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults address their health issues and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.

Eat Right & Exercise

Caregivers should always strive to eat right and exercise, but practicing healthy habits is easier said than done. Nonetheless, you should find small ways to make healthy choices. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, you can do 10-minute bursts of exercise throughout the day. If you snack during the day because you don’t have time to prepare meals, swap chips for almonds or apples. These small acts of self-care can make a big difference in the long run. 

Find an Effective Way to Reduce Stress

Even when caregivers maintain a healthy lifestyle, stress can be a constant challenge. To practice proper self-care, find a stress reduction technique that fits your lifestyle. Some caregivers like to meditate for ten minutes every day, as the concept of mindfulness helps them navigate the challenges of caregiving. Other caregivers feel their anxiety levels drop when they cuddle with their pets or listen to their favorite songs. Once you find an effective stress relief technique, practice it with intent. You can even make a list of stress-relieving self-care activities and turn to it whenever you feel anxious. 

Maintain Friendships 

For many people, maintaining friendships isn’t an act of self-care. Preserving relationships can be difficult for caregivers, as their free time is limited. Isolation can take a toll on emotional and mental health, and you need to make an effort to maintain social bonds. Send a silly text to a friend or forward a funny email to your sister. These small acts of self-care keep the lines of friendship open and ensure you have people to turn to when you need emotional support. 

Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their day-to-day responsibilities. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs overnight home care, Corio by IOA can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

Take Up Hobbies 

Caregivers sometimes lose themselves in their caregiving responsibilities. They work so hard to care for their loved ones, and they often neglect their own personal interests. In these cases, making time for a hobby is an act of self-care. Spend at least an hour a week on something that interests you.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted senior care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Corio by IOA is here to help. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (415) 750-4111.