Five years ago, Support Care Cancer surveyed hundreds of family caregivers to learn more about their emotional, mental, and physical health. A few things became clear in this study.
More women than men provided care to another family member, and that care was required six or seven days per week. About half of these family caregivers live in a rural community, and 68% had been a caregiver for over a year.
Most concerning is that many of these family caregivers are experiencing mental strain. Almost 25% report being depressed, and 34% report having high anxiety levels. Those dealing with mental health issues also said self-care was not something they practiced.
Self-care is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy as a family caregiver. It would be best to put your needs first, and your family's needs come second. It's okay to take care of yourself first.
What Is Self-Care?
What is self-care? It's simply the act of taking care of yourself. You're focusing on your physical, emotional, and mental health by doing things that stimulate your mind, exercise your muscles and joints, and help you ease stress and tension.
What you do to practice self-care can vary from one person to the next and from one week to the next. Stop and think about the things you do that make you feel happy. One person might say they love to walk on the beach. Another might prefer to go to a gym and use a climbing wall.
If you find yourself feeling happiest while photographing nature, that's one activity to put on your list for self-care. You might love the feel of warm water soothing your aching muscles and joints. That's ideal for self-care.
Self-care can engage your mind in hobbies. It can entail seeing your doctor or therapist to improve your physical and mental health. Exercise, a healthier diet, and spending time with your partner, friends, or children are all things you can do to practice self-care.
You might not want to do anything. You've been busy helping your mom and dad. You have a day off, and you want to lounge around in your pajamas all day and not leave the house. That's a great way to practice self-care! It makes you happy, and that's what self-care is all about.
It's Time to Take Care of Yourself
Respite care is the best way to help yourself stay healthy. Physical health isn't the only thing that matters. You need to take care of your emotional and physical health, too. Talk to an elder care specialist about respite care and other elder care services that ensure you're able to take care of yourself while also caring for your aging parents.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Scarsdale and Yonkers, NY, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (914) 768-9065