In honor of National Caregiver's Day, here are some reminders to look after yourself – even if you're looking after others.
Eat well and exercise.
You make sure the person you’re caring for has healthy food and gets the exercise they need. What about you? If you find yourself sneaking fast food and missing your daily steps goal, it’s time to make a change.
Eating well and exercising can help you maintain your own health. They can also help reduce your stress, give you more energy to face the day, and maintain the physical strength you may need while caring for someone else.
Say “no” when you need to.
Even with a full schedule, you may feel like you must agree to more expectations or requests from loved ones. Embrace the power of “no.” Be realistic about what you can handle. Turn down anything that doesn’t fit in. Prioritize and accept only requests that you really want to do — and decline what’s lower on your list. And don’t feel bad about it! Loved ones will understand.
We can’t say it enough – self-care is not selfish. Caring for someone else can wear you out physically, mentally, and emotionally. You need time to recharge. Take a half hour a day to read a book or watch your favorite TV show. Practice yoga or meditation a few times a week with one of EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care's free virtual classes. Whatever it is, schedule time to do something that is just for you.
Ask for help.
Being a caregiver can feel lonely, but you're not alone. Talk to friends and family or join a support group to share concerns and vent frustrations.
This blog was originally published on ConnectiCare.com. ConnectiCare is a subsidiary of EmblemHealth.