Genuine living is often difficult for those loving souls called caregivers. Balance becomes difficult to achieve. Focusing on their own health is difficult when there is so much to do to take care of their loved one. Here are some healthy tips that could be good for caregivers as well as the loved one they are caring for. You don’t have to do it all at once. Try a few and see how they fit into your busy life. You might enjoy the results!
Get out in the sun every day that you can. Vitamin D is something all humans need daily. We can’t store it and while pill form is acceptable, it is still not the same as soaking up some rays. How much is enough? That depends on your skin color and your geographic area. If you can, get your loved one out in the sun as well. Read aloud on the deck or the front porch if it is possible.
Use all natural health, beauty and cleaning products when possible. The fewer toxins and irritants put on your skin, the less detoxification you have to put your body through. Detoxification uses up vitamins and minerals like zinc and magnesium that could be put to better use.
Exercising is not only great for the body, but it can take your mind off your worries. Don’t let COVID-19 get in the way of grabbing some exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym to get a good workout. How about a yoga video or online yoga class? Yoga can help improve your flexibility and reduce a lot of the stress in your life. There are also many online classes for exercise. Many local gyms and personal trainers have taken their classes online. And don’t forget to take time to also mentally relax. Meditation can help in reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and increasing peace and well-being. There are several online apps now for meditation.
Eat healthy! Eat healthy! Eat healthy! And, do not skip meals. No junk food and avoid as many foods with preservatives as you possibly can. Limit your caffeine. If you feel low on energy, try a protein drink to give you a little boost. Make lunch your biggest meal and do not eat late at night.
Buy organic foods if you can afford it or visit the local produce stand in your community to get fresh fruits and veggies. If you can, plan your meals and snacks and stick to the plan. This may not always be possible, so give yourself a break if it doesn’t work out one day. Planning meals and shopping can be a task you can give to a friend or family member who wants to help out, or try a grocery delivery service. Many grocery stores are now offering home delivery, take advantage of their help.
Spirituality, Rest and Appreciation
What are you passionate about? Try to stay connected with it. Maybe it is a passion you can share with your loved one. Or something you can do in a new way, for example, if you used to love to travel, go on a virtual tour, this is something you and your loved on can do together. There are amazing virtual tours of castles, national parks, museums and more available online. Love music? There are livestreams and virtual concerts as well. It may take some creative thinking and enjoying your passion in a different way, but it’s an important part of self care to stay connected to what brings you joy.
Get as much rest as you need. Sometimes this is difficult for caregivers because you may be needed all hours of the day to care for you family member.
Remember when you had small children and people always told you to nap when they napped? The same advice can be very helpful. If you are tired and your loved one is enjoying a siesta, take some time to rest as well.
Remember to appreciate something or someone every day. Write a quick note to a hospice worker who has done something especially wonderful for you or your loved one. Notice how lovely the garden is in the morning or all the beautiful birds on the bird feeder. Take joy in small things. Keep breathing and keep smiling.