Have you heard of National Self-Care Awareness Month? September has been designated as a time to reflect or do an activity to look after your mental, emotional, and/or physical wellbeing. Self-care can be important in reducing stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This can be even more true when serving as family caregiver. If you are in such a role, let us review some tips and suggestions to avoid burnout and develop a sustainable routine:

1. Self-Care Matters
First, acknowledge that taking time for yourself is not selfish or unfair, but instead, an often necessary step to most effectively helping others. Many caregivers may feel uncomfortable with the idea at first, but, with some planning, you can find a way to incorporate self-care into your routine.

2. Stick to the Basics.
To improve your mood and reduce anxiety, be sure to eat well. A well-balanced diet can stabilize you and reduce the risk for chronic stress or other issues. Likewise, try to get enough rest each night to restore your body. If nighttime proves challenging, plan for a nap during the day to offset it.

3. Practice exercises
Practicing yoga, tai chi, or meditations can reduce stress and help you relax. If you do not have time or space for the exercise, deep breathing does not require any equipment or special space and can be effective at helping you find a sense of calm.

4. Seek your own care
Family caregivers can sometimes ignore their own medical needs for the sake of their loved one. A healthier approach may be visiting medical professionals as needed and not skipping appointments.

5. Do what you love
Self-care does not necessarily mean doing a chore. Self-care can mean taking time for a hobby, connecting with others, or avoiding potentially harmful habits, such as checking emails at night or not winding down for bedtime. Doing something you enjoy can energize and refresh you.

Caring for a family member can be deeply rewarding and deeply challenging. Whether you anticipate the need or are already serving as a caregiver, our office is here to help you on your journey. Contact us today to schedule a meeting time.