As a caregiver, it’s a real challenge to be at the top of your game every day. Unfortunately, somedays, we just can’t deliver the enthusiasm and energy we need to provide our loved ones with the best care possible, and sometimes those days turn into weeks.
All caregivers need to take some time, regularly, to stay recharged and refreshed while caring for a loved one. You can’t recharge your batteries when you’re working; you’re actually draining energy during those hours. The only way you’re going to take care of yourself is by regularly scheduling some time for rest and relaxation – for you.
Yes, you’re going to have to take a day off. However, you may not be able to do that every week. You might just need to listen to your body and take it when you know you need it or when someone else points it out to you. Either way, you need “me time” to avoid caregiver burnout and give your loved one the care they need.
7 Ways to Recharge and Refresh as a Caregiver
When those much-needed days are put on your calendar and finally arrive, you want to make the most of that time. Here are seven different ways to take care of yourself.
1. Don’t start your day with email
If possible, sleep with your phone out of your bedroom the night before your day off. By doing so, you won’t have the temptation of grabbing your phone and checking email even before you get out of bed. If someone needs to reach you badly enough, they can.
2. Have a slow day
On your day off, don’t try to accomplish a million things. Instead, take it slow and enjoy the little moments. Take time to read quietly, sip on some tea, or draw a bath, complete with candles and soft music.
3. Enjoy nature
Hop in your car, alone or with a friend, and take a drive to a local park or the beach. Then, weather permitting, enjoy a slow walk while enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds around you. If you’re with someone, visit with them on the ride to and from the park, but when walking together, do it in silence so you can soak in the experience.
4. Do some low-stress exercise
Stay off the bike, elliptical, or local running trails and take a day off from your regular routine, if you have one. On this day, try going to a restorative yoga class or staying home and doing some light stretching. You’ll enjoy feeling the replenishment that low-stress exercise provides.
5. No electronics!
Make a commitment that for eight straight hours, you’ll stay off of your phone, laptop, and pad. Using electronics will subconsciously induce stress. Instead, go to a movie or read a book. Try abstaining from radio and television as well.
6. Don’t do any work.
On your day off, don’t do housework, laundry, yard work, or anything else that you consider a “task.” This day is for you to relax. Take 24 hours and don’t do any work so you can replenish your mind and well-being.
7. Rekindle Relationships.
As a family caregiver, time spent with other family members or close friends often takes a backseat to all of your responsibilities. Your day off is the perfect time to enjoy time with a loved one or friend. It will help relax you, and you’ll feel recharged and refreshed when you return to your responsibilities as a caregiver.
Let a Professional Caregiver Step In and Help You Stay Recharged and Refreshed
When you take your days off, you’ll want to have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is being well cared for. AmeriCare Plus can be there while you’re taking care of yourself. Our respite care services, delivered by our well-trained caregivers and home health aides, will help you to enjoy your day off and not spend most of it worrying about your loved one.
We’ve been helping families like yours for over 25 years. Contact us today, and let’s get your day off scheduled!