Caring for yourself is hard work, but caring for yourself and someone else is even more so. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, around 1 in 5 Americans are unpaid caregivers to an aging adult, with the majority of caregivers also working a full-time job. Working full time, caring for your children and your elderly loved one can take their toll. Caregiver burnout is real and no joke.
Mental health is often overlooked, especially when you’re busy as a caregiver. You often prioritize their health over your own; however, you cannot effectively care for them if you do not care for yourself.
Keep reading to learn how to maintain mental health as a caregiver.
Join a support group
Having a sense of community could potentially strengthen your mental health. Knowing that there’s a group of people going through the same things as you can be reassuring and help you feel less alone.
Call us at 479-783-4500 to learn more about our caregiver support groups!
Don’t lose your hobbies
If you can, try to make time for the things that interest you. This allows you to spend time alone doing the things you love, without worrying about other things.
Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it can also improve your mental health! Moving your body for just 15 or 30 minutes a day can help relieve any buildup of stress.
Try to establish a balanced routine
Setting up a routine and establishing balance can help manage your stress levels, especially if you’re working full time and acting as a caregiver. Find a healthy balance of work and caregiving, as well as activities and rest. Establishing a routine may also help with stress since there wouldn’t be as many “surprises” during the day.
Take a break
There’s no shame in wanting to take a break. We all need one sometimes! You deserve it. Spending just a few minutes alone can make a huge difference. If you can, find someone who can take over your responsibilities for 30 minutes or an hour.
AAAWA provides personal care services and caregiver programs to support full-time caregivers. You can learn more about these services here or by calling 479-783-4500.