Being a caregiver is an enormous responsibility. Often, caregivers become so used to putting someone else first that they completely neglect their well-being. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re someone providing care for a loved one, Fading Memories Podcast advises keeping well while staying on task.
When striving for a healthier caregiving lifestyle, the first thing to address is time. You may find that you don't have much of it left to spend on yourself after a long day at work and all the life admin of the evenings/weekends. An excellent way to change this is by using modern technology - apps such as Toggl or Clockify can be excellent tools for keeping track of where and how you spend your valuable hours, steering you on task, and preventing tangents.
Physical and Mental Health
It’s crucial not to underestimate the influence of physical well-being in shaping a positive and healthy mindset. Even when you don’t feel like it, you should try to exercise - by maintaining physical fitness; you’re likely to improve brain function, muscle strength, and energy levels. You can always start things off with a light run and work your way up or participate in team sports to meet new people. Remember, as long as you’re moving; you’re improving.
A healthy diet should always accompany a good exercise routine. Transitioning from junk food to healthy fruit and veg is not always easy but is crucial for long-term well-being and happiness. If you’re struggling with the early stages of a healthy diet, it might be worth investing in a blender. That way, you can condense your vital nutrients and drink them with just a few gulps (rather than chewing and savoring). It can even be fun experimenting with different recipes and flavors.
All that being said, don’t neglect your mental health, either. You work in a stressful field, so if you want or need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to pursue the treatment you deserve! While therapy costs have a wide range these days, the proliferation of online counseling means prices have generally gone down, allowing you to attend counseling from the privacy of your own home.
Supportive friends and family are the essential ingredients for a healthy mindset. If you’re lucky enough to have them, you need to ensure that you’re spending time with them - that means outlining days on the weekend well in advance and protecting evenings during the week to be spent together, if not in person, then over the phone/video calls.
Pursuing Your Dreams
Often, caregivers put their dreams aside, whether learning a new hobby or starting their own business – but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, by remembering to pursue your goals, you increase your overall happiness, giving you more energy to face the day. So whether you’re thinking about taking a painting class, getting in shape, or enrolling in a versatile online program to gain information technology skills for your future business, don’t let anything hold you back!
Suppose you’re at a stage in your life where you’re feeling isolated. In that case, it can be a good idea to get involved in local events or community activities, you stand a chance to expand your social circle, and you can often help contribute toward meaningful, positive causes. There are plenty of ways to find these, such as through social media or online directories.
The life of a caregiver is never easy. Not only are you present as loved ones experience pain, but you’re also shouldering some of that burden yourself. But this role is also necessary - just remember to look after yourself as you’re looking after others.
Fading Memories Podcast was created to support family caregivers in a simple, on-demand form. We'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments!
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