Creating a caregivers survival kit is a necessity for anyone who is a caregiver. It’s easy to become burned out when tending to the needs of a loved one or someone who is chronically ill. Eventually health problems can occur such as stress, strain on relationships, physical illness, mental and emotional exhaustion. It’s important to create a survival kit and consider the caregivers needs as well as the patients needs.
Take some time to reduce the stress of day to day living. Delegate whenever possible and focus on a few tasks to stay in the loop. Avoid overextending time and energy. Spend some time with friends or family that understand the situation and are willing to be supportive of the caregiver. Avoid taking on anyone else’s stress and consider taking some breaks whenever possible. Be aware of signs of stress such as higher blood pressure, irritability and anxiety and step back and take a break when these triggers show their ugly faces.
Take time out
Caregivers need to take some time out for themselves. Have lunch with friends or family, enjoy a walk, read a good book, sleep in or take a nap. It’s okay to share the burden and take a break in order to stay strong oneself.
It’s important for caregivers to educate themselves about the medical condition. Whether it’s Alzheimer’s or another medical condition an educated caregiver can help make better choices for the patient.
Sleep is a vital tool in the caregivers survival kit. Get the full 7 to 9 hours of sleep recommended by the family doctor. With a good nights sleep even the roughest day can be dealt with.
Eat a healthy diet
If the body isn’t nourished properly it can’t function properly. It’s imperative for any caregiver to keep this in mind. It’s easy to be too busy to eat a proper meal so it’s important to keep healthy snacks on hand or consider setting out a healthy meal and eating parts of it during short breaks. Keeping ones strength up will help the day go smoother no matter what obstacles are thrown in life’s path.
Everyone needs exercise. Even if it’s only a short walk. Take advantage of friends or family that are willing to sit with the patient during nap time and go for a short walk or head to the local gym for 30 minutes each afternoon. Friends or family can always call if there is an emergency and healthy caregivers are better caregivers so don’t hesitate to tend to the body’s exercise needs.
Caregiving is a stressful job and all caregivers need a survival kit in order to make it through with their own health.