Caregiving: Why Is It Important To Take Care of Yourself?
צוות iSavta | 12.11.2019
The possibility to lack self-care among caregivers is high. You have a tendency not to meet your own needs just to take care of others. This is not good because not being able to take care of oneself means not being able to provide quality care to the patient. Taking care of an elderly or loved one risks the caregiver’s psychological health. Research says that many caregivers experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Depression may also take place as the disease of the elderly progresses.
The stressful environment in the daily life of a caregiver may generate feelings of frustration and helplessness. Caregivers, like you, need to cope with the different emotions that go with your several tasks. If not managed well, these negative emotions could impact and deteriorate your physical health. Hence, it is important to address these emotional aspects in caregiving with some coping strategies. Simple steps such as recognizing your own limitations, meditating, and taking breaks are essential to address feelings of guilt, anger, or sadness. However, you will need professional help for major issues like depression and grief.
Your health and sanity is crucial to your role in caring for someone else. So, spend time to do things that you would normally do. Meet up with friends, talk with family members, and continue to do hobbies that light up your mood. Set a time to pamper yourself and do this as a habit. For sure, doing these simple steps would contribute to your wellness. In return, you will be able to provide quality care to an elderly or loved one with ease.
If not handled well, the responsibilities that come with caregiving may lead to a burnout. Taking care of a family member or someone else at your own expense is not good for your health. Poor sleep patterns, impatience, and a change in appetite are just few symptoms that suggest you are experiencing a burnout. Do not hesitate to ask for support from a family member if you can not handle some caregiving tasks any longer. It also helps if you have a friend to lean on or talk about your caregiving journey. Being able to share your experiences and struggles in caregiving is helpful in releasing the combined emotions you feel in doing your tasks. You may also join a caregiver group in your area and laugh about the tales you undergo as caregivers.
The pressures of caregiving can be physically and emotionally exhausting. As stressful as it may be, it is necessary to recharge and give time to yourself so that you could prevent a caregiving burnout from happening. Spend time to relax, eat well, and try to get a good amount of sleep. Remember that you are putting yourself first so that you could give superior care to another person in need.
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