As a family caregiver, you can’t push aside your own needs. Self-care is important if you want to stay healthy. How do you do that when your parents need your help every day? These four habits are the ones you must embrace if you’re going to care for your own mental and physical health.
Get Enough Sleep
Make sure you’re getting the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep each night. To succeed at this, it’s good to create a routine. Go to bed an hour before you need to drift off to sleep. Put on a fan or air purifier for white noise and read a book for that hour. When the hour is up, turn out the lights and close your eyes.
It can help to come up with a way to calm your mind. One way to do this is by imagining you’re in your favorite place. Imagine walking up a mountain trail to a field full of lavender. You might imagine you’re walking down a quiet beach with the surf hitting your toes.
Take a Daily Walk
Each day, take a walk and bring your parents along. It gets them the exercise they need. It also helps you clear your mind, breathe some fresh air, and get your daily recommended 30 minutes of activity. Daily exercise helps lower the risk of many chronic health conditions and reduces stress. All of that is beneficial.
Make sure the walk is at a brisk pace. If your parents can’t walk fast, push them in a wheelchair. You could also walk a little ahead of them and loop back. This way, you’re getting your heart rate up and pumping blood around your body, which is the goal of daily exercise.
Choose Healthy Foods
A healthy diet is another component to better health. Aim for a daily diet that provides:
3 cups of dairy
2 ½ cups of vegetables
2 cups of fruit
¾ cup of whole grains
5 teaspoons of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
Dairy options can include nut milks that are enriched with vitamin D if needed. When it comes to vegetables and fruits, try to get a variety of colors each day. Orange, red, blue/purple, green, and white foods are important. Leafy greens, white cauliflower, red and blue/purple berries, and red tomatoes are examples of daily options.
Take Time Off
If possible, take one or two days off every week. If you work five days a week, try to have weekends off. It may be hard to manage this, but it’s important to have time for your favorite activities, the right amount of sleep, and socialization.
How do you make sure your parents don’t have to go without while you’re taking time for self-care? Hire home care aides on a part-time basis. Just one day per week gives you the break you need and ensures your parents aren’t alone. Talk to a home care specialist about respite care and other helpful senior care services.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Center Hill, FL, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Clermont today. 1-888-423-4046.