4 Ways to Practice Self Care as a Caregiver

4 Ways to Practice Self Care as a Caregiver
Care Master | Independent Living
5 Min

4 Ways to Practice Self Care as a Caregiver

The physical and emotional demands of caring for an aging loved one can be exhausting and even lead to burnout. It's important to maintain your own health and well-being so you can provide the best possible care. Here are four ways to help practice self-care as a caregiver.

1) Meditation

There are so many ways to sneak this practice into your daily routine, without causing too much of a time commitment. It could look like carving 5 minutes into the beginning and end of your day to really sit with the things that you felt grateful for that day, even if they are small.

This also allows space for you to set a positive intention for what your day ahead will bring- peace, ease, and clarity. It could also look like simply noticing your breath as it enters and exits your lungs and fills your body with life-giving energy. This small but mighty practice is where you can start to compound the time spent caring for yourself in manageable increments.

2) Music

You know that song you turn all the way up in the car when you are having a great day? Pick that and maybe one more and have a dance party in your car or drive-thru line once or twice a week. Start to notice, and watch your mood shift, even for that moment. When you tap into the things that bring you joy and feel fun, you increase your ability to ward off negativity and move through obstacles with ease.

3) Movement

It is common and normal to absorb or take on the emotions from others in your life, job, family, caregiving role, etc. and it can tend to make us feel anxious, overwhelmed, or frustrated if we don’t give that energy a way out. Emotions are truly, energy-in-motion. Moving your body is a great way for that energy to have a way out. The result is you feeling lighter, less overwhelmed, and able to show up for others to the best of your ability. This could be as simple as a mid-day walk outside or a slow yoga flow, all the way to intense adrenaline-pumping spin and Zumba classes. Find what feels good for you, and do that daily if possible.

4) Mantras

These are statements that are helpful in shifting a current negative thought pattern or cycle, into one that feels a bit more supportive and nurturing. It's as simple and as complicated as shifting our thoughts and noticing the vibrations they carry.

Saying things to ourselves like “This is so exhausting, I don’t know how anyone makes it through this (caregiving) without going crazy.” may in fact be true for you in the present moment, is likely to attract more of the same to your experience.

Shifting that same statement into “I am the most capable person for this role, and I will lean on the supportive resources available to insure my mental health is cared for along the way” will result in even more experiences for that to be true.