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Caregiver Stress 5 Tips for Looking After Yourself

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Caregiver Stress: 5 Tips for Looking After Yourself

As a caregiver, your role will be to provide help and support to another person in need. If you’re looking after an aging relative, you’ll do everything in your power to ensure they’re receiving sufficient care. However, with so much focus on their health and wellbeing, you may neglect your own in the process. Caring for a loved one comes with its challenges, which can heighten stress levels and make it hard to switch off. To keep your mental and physical wellbeing in check, here are some top tips on how to take care of yourself.

Practice Deep Breathing

If you’re under immense stress as a caregiver, you need to find moments to clear your head and relax. Deep breathing techniques can lower stress and anxiety, lower your blood pressure, and slow down your heartbeat. Taking five minutes for yourself to practice deep breathing exercises can do wonders for your mental health. This will help you return to your caregiving duties with a fresh mind and clear focus.

Speak to Loved Ones

When caring for a loved one, you may feel isolated and alone, but this is not always true. If you have other siblings, you must reach out to them. If you’re looking after a senior parent, you’ll find other family members want to do their bit to help. This means you should accept their support, which will give you some much-needed respite. Make sure you keep communication lines open so that you can always ensure your loved one is well looked after.

Consider Outside Support

As well as having a strong support network around you, it may be time to consider outside support. If your loved one requires 24/7 care, you can’t be expected to be there day and night. You might want to look into a service like Cooperative Home Care who provide overnight nurse care. This means a trained nurse can take the reins during the night, which allows you some much-needed time for yourself.

Find a Hobby

When you do get some time for yourself away from caregiving duties, use it to your advantage. Taking up a hobby can be a fantastic way to take your mind off things. Whatever your interests are, finding things you love outside of the role will give you something to look forward to. If you’re feeling isolated, there are social activities you can partake in, like playing sports. This gives you the chance to engage with others and build strong friendships.

Prioritize Sleep

If you ask any caregiver for advice on the role, one of the main points would be to get a good night’s sleep. You need to be full of energy and focus when looking after someone else, otherwise, you could be putting their health and safety in danger. A minor mistake can lead to devastating consequences. Therefore, you must prioritize sleep over anything else.

While there are invaluable benefits you can gain from caring for a loved one, that’s not to say there won’t be tough moments along the way. When dealing with stress, there are an abundance of tools you can put in place that will keep you on track and ensure your loved one receives the best care available.

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