Being a caregiver, especially for a parent or loved one, is no easy task and requires a lot of hard work and perseverance. With over 34 million unpaid caregivers caring for aging adults, it is important to remember that you are not alone.
According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is a “state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.” Your health as a caregiver is just as important as the health of the senior you are caring for. After all, how can you take care of someone else if you’re unable to take care of yourself? Franklin Park Senior Living acknowledges that navigating the journey as a caregiver can be a challenge. That is why we are sharing tips to help you avoid caregiver burnout and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A Healthy and Consistent Diet is Vital
While being a caregiver can be a full-time job, many consider it a lifestyle change, or a shift in their regular routine. This approach to the situation can cause those performing these responsibilities to neglect themselves - drastically increasing the odds of caregiver burnout. As a caregiver, you have taken the responsibility to care for someone else, but you also have a responsibility to care for yourself. Maintaining a healthy diet is the first step to properly balancing your lifestyle as a caregiver.
A healthy diet is one that is consistent and gives you the nourishment you need. A significant pain point for most caregivers is finding the time to prepare and eat a nutrient-dense meal. While some may push it off or find it easier to stop by the drive-thru, it makes them more susceptible to caregiver burnout. A consistent meal schedule, accompanied by meal prepping, can save you a lot of stress and ensure your body is getting the vitamins and nutrients it needs to be successful.
Grab A Stress-Relieving Snack
While many assume sweets are a great escape from stress, the reality is the opposite! It may seem odd, but most stress-relieving foods are healthy options. Dark chocolate, milk, blueberries, and turkey are foods that provide your body with healthy eating options that can also help relieve feelings of stress. Incorporating these foods into your diet and snack routine can push you towards a healthier and happier lifestyle!
Stress-relieving activities can help place you in a better frame of mind. Of course, these activities can vary from person to person. For instance, while exercise can help some people clear their mind, it can be seen as a chore by others. However, there are plenty of other stress-relieving activities that are easy to implement into your life. It can be as simple as sitting outside and enjoying nature at some point during your day!
Here are a few activities you may consider implementing into your routine to help clear your mind, focus, and alleviate feelings of stress:
- Stress release products (ie. stress ball or fidget device)
- Write in a journal
- Yoga or meditation
- Listen to music
Introducing these activities accompanied by a consistent and healthy diet with stress-relieving foods will set you on a better path. While it may be in the back of your mind, caregiver health is important, too. Mayo Clinic offers a great list of activities that can help you reduce your levels of stress.
Following these tips can not only improve your health but also enhance your overall caregiving experience and the quality of the care you provide.
While informal caregiving can be profoundly noble, it may not be an option for everyone. Franklin Park Senior Living offers premier communities in San Antonio, Texas and its surrounding areas. Our communities are built with luxurious amenities that can provide your loved one with a sense of community and a lush lifestyle. If you are feeling the effects of caregiver burnout or if you are considering a senior living community for your parent or loved one, we encourage you to contact our Franklin Park team to learn more about our services.