Did you know thatSeptember is National Self-Care Awareness Month? Though it can positively impact our overall well-being, it’s often something many of us fail to do. This is especially true when it comes to those who cater to the needs of others such as caregivers. In a 2021 national survey, Americans outlined self-confidence, increased productivity and happiness as some of the main benefits of self-care.
If you are a caregiver, this is a reminder that in order to attend to others in the best way possible, it’s necessary to first take care of yourself. While this can be easier said than done, take advantage of this month to jump-start your self-care routine and make it a part of your regular schedule.
To help you get organized, here are 10 practical recommendations to support self-care for caregivers:
- Explore a new hobby: Having something fun and interesting to look forward to enjoying is a great way to practice self-care. Pick up an old hobby or try something new.
- Join a support group: Caring for others can be a lonely and difficult experience at times.Joining a group of individuals who understand your unique challenges can be an ideal source of support.
- Spend time in nature: Time outdoors can work wonders in boosting your mood and helping you to feel rejuvenated. Try a visit to the park or even a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood.
- Schedule rest: On busier days you may forget to take breaks. Scheduling rest by setting alarms in advance can serve as a gentle reminder to take breaks throughout the day.
- Make time for exercise: Among the many benefits, staying active will help you to maintain a healthy weight, destress, boost your energy and improve your brain health. In addition to your work as a caregiver, exercise can positively impact your personal life.
- Start a journal: Journaling is a great way to reflect, express your thoughts or unwind after a long day. Put pen to paper and give it a try.
- Prioritize sleep: Caring for someone else while being sleep deprived is difficult. Stay mentally sharp and energized by ensuring that you get enough quality sleep at night.
- Try mindfulness meditation: Prevent burnout and relax by regularly doing activities that encourage mindfulness such as yoga, deep breathing and tai-chi.
- Practice self-compassion: As a caregiver, there’s only so much you can do in a day. Know your limits, do your best and be patient with yourself.
- Enjoy more of what you love: Make time for meaningful activities that bring you joy. Schedule spa days, read a new book or visit the farmer’s market.
While caring for others, it can be easy to neglect your needs. Start fresh this month by making time for self-care so you can better serve others while maintaining your overall health and well-being.