As a caregiver, it’s important to try and remain as stress-free as possible. While your work day can throw more challenges at you than many other lines of work; staying calm is extremely important. Here are 5 ways to be a great caregiver and stay sane at the same time.
Being a caregiver requires you to give someone else a lot of your time. But you still have your own life. Without an organized way of keeping your schedule, it can get messy trying to remember what you committed to. To reduce this stress and simplify your hectic life more, you can try writing in an agenda book or calendar. Even the Google Calendar or Apple’s Calendar apps are useful, and you can set reminders before an event to give yourself time to get ready.
Make use of Outside Help
Caring for a loved one on your own will exhaust and strain you. Take advantage of family members or friends who offer to help, even if it just for a few hours. Outside agencies with caregivers are also very helpful, and allow you to take time off if it is necessary. Create a schedule with the times others have offered to help or when agencies will send someone. This will help to keep the care schedule organized and make sure the person in care always has help when they need it.
There is a limit to how much you can do for your loved one. Sometimes you will have to say “no” to them, even if you don’t want to. It is important to keep your health in mind as well as theirs. When they ask for something you can’t take upon yourself, tell them that instead of attempting to do what they asked. Your health cannot take a backseat even when caring for someone else.
Develop Important Relationships
Caregiving goes hand-in-hand with the health care plan for your loved one. Establish relationships with the health care providers for your loved one and work together to develop short and long-term plans for them. By establishing relationships with the health care team, you will be informed on changes and what they mean for your loved one, decreasing confusion and stress. The information will allow you to know about possible changes in medication or procedures beforehand, so if a change occurs, you will not be as stressed.
Pay Attention to Yourself
How are you feeling? Not only do you have to take care of your loved one, you have to pay attention to your needs as well. This doesn’t mean become self-absorbed and place your needs before theirs while caring for them; but if you haven’t eaten since last night or there is a pain that won’t go away, you need to start giving yourself more attention. Make sure your basic needs are taken care of. You cannot take care of someone else if you begin to deteriorate too. So make sure your health is in order and your basic needs are met. Besides physical health, pay attention to your mental health too. Have you given yourself more than you can handle? Follow some of the tips above to maintain your mental health as well.