As a caregiver, your primary concern is usually your senior’s health. But if you’re not paying attention to some of the biggest issues you could be facing personally, you might be setting yourself up for trouble later.
A Sedentary Lifestyle
Even though you’re busy and might be doing things all day long, that’s not the same as exercise. Lots of what you do might be rather sedentary, especially when you’re spending a lot of time sitting down. Exercise helps with not just keeping your body active, but it can also help you with maintaining your mood and dealing with stress. It can also help you with some of the other problems you could run up against.
Sleep deprivation can be as dangerous to your ability to think and to respond as drinking alcohol can. So when you opt to forego sleep in order to get more done, you’re actually slowing yourself down. Your brain won’t work as well, your stress levels go up, and you’re creating bigger problems for yourself down the line. A much better alternative is to make sure you’re getting to bed at a decent hour and getting the sleep you truly need.
Bad Dietary Choices
Food is as important for you as it is for your elderly family member. You likely already know that when she’s eating healthy foods regularly, her overall health is so much more solid. The same is true for you. If you’re running on junk food and calories that are devoid of nutritional value, that’s going to take a toll on you. Eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider working with a nutritionist, at least for a little while, to work out healthy, simple meals that work well for your life.
It’s not hard to see why a caregiver might get depressed. Between health issues and managing so many other situations for their aging family members, caregivers can easily find themselves dealing with depression. If you’re denying yourself respite time and you’re falling down on self-care, you’re far more likely to find yourself wrestling with depression. Deal with depression as soon as you suspect it’s becoming an issue for you or it will get worse.
No matter what your duties are as a caregiver, it’s vital that you take care of yourself as well. If you don’t practice solid self-care, you’re far more likely to experience one or more of these issues. Talk to your own doctor about what you can do to take better care of yourself on a regular basis.