Caregivers must be intentional about caring for their own health. In the process of caring for someone else, it’s easy to neglect yourself. Just as you make a schedule for your loved ones, make a schedule for yourself. Schedule down time for yourself even if it’s sitting outside in the fresh air. You are valuable, if you do not take care of yourself how will you care for others?
My husband has an aide that comes three days a week, it’s only for an hour or so but that an hour that I can use to get out of the house. She will call and let me know when she is on her way and I immediately begin to gather what I need so that I can walk out the door as soon as she walks in. I usually use that time to get in some form of exercise.
Exercise has several benefits, one of which is that it improves your mood while also decreasing anxiety and stress. During exercise your body releases chemicals that improve your mood. As little as 30 minutes of exercise can have positive results on an individual.
I know from personal experience that I am happier when I exercise. I walk away from a workout with a feeling of accomplishment that I have done something good for myself. While we as caregivers are busy doing for others, do not overlook yourself. If you want to have something to give to the one you care for be sure to nourish yourself, otherwise you will be empty. You will have nothing for yourself and certainly nothing to give others.
Caregivers start moving.
Evelyn Johnson Taylor