Make Time for You: Why Self-Care is Essential for Caregivers
Caregivers are often so focused on giving that they forget to take care of themselves. This can lead to major issues down the road, like burnout and physical or psychological health issues. Whether you are caring for a family member or working in the care sector, here's why it's important to take time out to take care of yourself.
The importance of self-care
When on an aeroplane, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help someone else with theirs. The same goes for self-care. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of others. It is crucial that caregivers and people who are in the caring profession take regular breaks and make time for themselves and their own needs.
Ways to take care of yourself
1. Eating healthy foods helps your body to function at its best and can give you the energy you need to care for others.
2. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Taking time out for a walk or run can help you to reduce stress and improve your outlook.
3. Meditation can help to clear your mind and allow you to focus on the present moment.
4. Time out. Taking even a few minutes out of your day to sit quietly can be beneficial. Set an alarm so that it’s easy to remember to stop what you’re doing in order to take some deep breaths, do a mindfulness exercise, listen to calming music, stretch your muscles, and just observe what’s happening around you.
Finding time in your day to make time for you
If you are caring for a relative, it can be difficult to take time away. Ask a family member for support, or seek guidance from an outside agency. Charities such as Care for the Carers and Carers UK offer invaluable support to people in caring roles.
Recognising the value of self-care
Caregiving is an important job, and the stresses and responsibility can weigh heavily. By taking time out to reenergise and recharge, you are putting yourself in the best possible position to continue in your role as the strongest, healthiest version of yourself.