5 Activities That Can Help Family Caregivers Relax
If you’re like most family caregivers, caring for your senior loved one is both rewarding and challenging. It can be difficult to find time to care for yourself as well as your loved one. But it’s important to look after yourself so that you can continue providing quality care for others.
In July, we recognize National Self-Care Day, and to help ensure that the challenges associated with providing care don’t lead to caregiver burnout, it’s important for you and your family to find ways to recharge.
As providers of senior home care in Dayton we can recommend five activities that help family caregivers relax and return rejuvenated to their caregiving duties.
1. Try Sunbathing
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your caregiving responsibilities, squeezing in a twenty-minute catnap in the sun is a quick and easy way to take some personal time. In addition to releasing feel-good endorphins, sitting in the sun can deliver a healthy dose of vitamin D to boost your mood.
You can make the most of your time in the sun by enjoying a cold beverage, listening to relaxing music, tuning in to a podcast, or trying some simple yoga poses.
Remember to wear sunscreen when you’re in the sun, so that you can avoid getting a sunburn and fully enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer.
If the weather is cloudy and prevents you from getting enough sun, consider buying a natural spectrum light (which mimics real sunlight) to release vitamin D.
2. Get a Pedicure
Caregiving responsibilities often keep caregivers on their feet most of the day. If you find that your feet and legs are sore after caring for your elderly loved one, a pedicure may help relieve some of that discomfort, leaving you and your feet rejuvenated.
A pedicure is a great way to pamper yourself and relax, which can be important for caregivers who feel stressed by the demands of their job. Plus, when you’re feeling good about yourself, it’s easier to feel confident in your role as a caregiver.
As an added bonus, you might catch a little shut-eye in one of those relaxing massage chairs. If you find yourself feeling sore all over, and a massage chair doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, you may want to consider booking an appointment for a full body massage as well.
3. Go to the Movies
Going to the movies is a fun way to rejuvenate and reconnect with yourself. It’s an especially good idea if you’re feeling stressed out and need a way to unwind.
Though going to the movies alone may feel uncomfortable at first, seeing a light-hearted movie can be relaxing, offering a passive way to take the mind off caregiving responsibilities.
To really relax during a movie, put your phone away and try to forget about everything except what is happening on the screen. Of course, you can keep your phone on vibrate, so you can answer in the event of an emergency, but don’t let it keep you from enjoying yourself.
It may be difficult getting out of the house by yourself, but Dayton respite care services can watch your loved one for a few hours while you catch a movie.
4. Make a Coffee Date
Friendships and other relationships frequently fall to the wayside for family caregivers, which is why it’s important to make time for a social life.
While it may not be possible to take extensive time away from caregiving duties, finding a few hours every week to meet up for coffee with old friends can often provide an important emotional outlet for caregivers.
A simple coffee date with friends can be a great way to get away from your responsibilities and spend time with someone else who understands you. Many people will also be happy to listen to your problems without giving advice, which is often all that caregivers need.
5. Take a Mental Health Day
If you’re a family caregiver who also works another job, the combination of personal and professional responsibilities can sometimes become too much.
When you are overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for your elderly loved one as well as holding down a full-time job, taking mental health days from both work and caregiving may be wise. With this time off, take some time for yourself—meditate or read a book (or something else that brings peace to mind).
It’s important to remember that it isn’t selfish to take time away from helping a loved one. If anything, taking breaks can make you better able to handle the demands of caregiving over time.
It’s important for family members to remember that healthy, happy caregivers make effective caregivers. Reach out to Home Care Assistance and take some time to recharge your batteries, so you can be the best caregiver you can be. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and Dayton in-home stroke care that allows your loved one to age in place with dignity. To learn more about our care services, contact a friendly Care Manager and schedule a free in-home consultation.
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