It’s time for caregivers to start planning for self-reflection and self-care as we transition into the 2021 new year.
It’s not unusual for people who care for others to subconsciously put themselves last. This bad habit is often harmful for the health of caregivers, and in turn can have negative consequences for the seniors in their care.
This is why quality caregivers must focus on improving their overall health.
It’s a common tradition for most people to launch the new year with a resolution – it’s a way of creating a fresh start for some and reinventing yourself for others. These New Year’s resolutions require individuals to set new goals in order to achieve expectations. If not addressed, caregivers’ health can decline and lead to more instances of serious chronic illness.
Unmanaged stress negatively affects personal relationships, general mood, and one’s overall well-being.
This is why self-reflection and self-care are critical to the health of caregivers in 2021 – it’s time to stop pouring from an empty cup – meet your own needs so that you can be a better caregiver.
Rest and recharge.
HOW TO TAKE TIMEOUT FOR SELF-CARE DAILY
- Micro breaks
- 2-minute meditation
- Breathing and calming exercises
- Quick 5-minute workouts or walks
- Read books, magazine, or listen to audiobook
- Connect with friends
- Relax your body
- Get fresh air
- Do something just for you
SEVEN SUGGESTIONS FOR SELF-CARE RESOLUTIONS
New Year’s resolutions for caregivers can be a great way to celebrate all the contributions of assisted living staff.
These 7 suggestions can help caregivers find ways to reduce stress and increase well-being.
Caregivers must be reminded to give themselves credit for the wonderful things they do for others.
The following 7 suggestions for positive New Year’s resolutions will help caregivers rediscover a sense of joy in the kind of work they do.
- Learn to Love Yourself Again
One of the easiest ways to lose your self-identity and sense of enjoyment in life is when we embark on a journey of caregiving.
The responsibilities can feel overwhelming:
- Endless to-do lists
- Increasing needs
- Time consuming
- Avoiding mistakes
These obligations can suck caregivers into a dark bottomless hole. Without self-care, caregivers cannot provide the kind of quality care the seniors in assisted living deserve.
Learning to love yourself again and again drives out doubt and insecurities. It will resurface caregivers on solid ground with a clear path ahead.
- Avoid Stressing Circumstances You Can’t Control
A positive way to manage doubt and insecurities is to acknowledge that some situations are simply out of your control.
There are certain circumstances caregivers cannot control. Recognize that these conditions are not the fault of caregivers.
Do not punish yourself. Do not make the situation more difficult. Do not stress circumstances you cannot control.
Make a New Year’s resolution to take a step back and stop trying to solve every situation.
- Focus on the Silver Lining
Even the absolute worst situations in life have an upside, regardless of how difficult it is to see the forest for the trees.
Always focus on the brighter side of things.
Caregivers should always focus on the silver lining. As a result, they will be able to help seniors in assisted living do the same.
There is always a silver lining, you simply must set your sights on positivity and do not allow life’s circumstances distract you.
- Carve Out Time to Decompress
No matter how busy life gets, it is your responsibility to always chisel out opportunities to decompress, reset and recharge.
Be willing to step away:
- Take a vacation.
- Plan for short walks.
- Find ways to temporarily escape.
Self-care is critical. It is a vital part of the caregiving process. Even your caregivers must start small, taking an hour to indulge in self-care once a week will make a major difference.
Caregivers should make a personal choice about what to do with every free hour they carve out.
Remember, taking time out for self-care isn’t selfish. In fact, it is the most critical part of providing quality care for others.
- Embrace the Time You Have
Going to work every day, dealing with the same issues hour-by-hour and providing care to the same seniors during every shift can seem like an endlessly spiraling cycle.
Taking time for yourself creates a break in the cycle of caregiving.
When caregivers embrace every moment outside of the assisted living home, it allows them to reset and feel more secure and confident.
- Find Help When Needed
More hands can carry added weight – it’s not up to you to handle every little tedious task alone.
Ask for help.
Help does not mean you are not good at providing quality care, it actually means the opposite.
When stretched too thin, good caregivers understand the importance and obligation of reaching out to other care staff.
Do not be passive about making requests, quiet calls for help usually fall between the cracks – the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Seeking help is a part of doing the best job you can.
CREATING HEALTH STRATEGIES FOR CAREGIVERS
Caring for yourself enables you to care for others. Being true to yourself, enables you to be truthful with others.
How often do the caregivers in your assisted living homes chisel out time for self-care by taking purposeful action?
Self-care is not arrogance. It is a necessary means of providing quality for others. Caring for yourself – first – makes you a better you.
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