Caregiving can be a wonderful journey, giving you precious extra time with your loved one. It can also be emotionally and physically demanding. Over that past few months, I’ve shared different self-care tips that are quick, cheap and easy to do. Today I’m rounding up my favorites in one place.
- Find joy: What are the big and little things that bring you joy? Are you doing them on a regular basis? For me, two big ones are eating outside, which I do a lot in the warm months and go to the library (I love books and quiet), which I don’t do very often. What brings you joy and how can you squeeze it in?
- Self-Care on a Time Budget: Let’s face it, if you are a caregiver, you probably don’t have a lot of down time – especially if you are also working or taking care of your own children as well. I break down quick self-care activities you can do whether you have 5 minutes or 20 minutes. My favorites are the 3 minute body scan and escaping with a book.
- 10 Best Tactics for Caregivers: These aren’t really self-care tips, but shortcuts and tips for busy caregivers. My favorites that I implement regularly are never have empty hands – whenever I am going to another room, I pick up things that belong in that room to take with me – and use technology to set up reminders for everything from scheduling medical appointments to refilling prescriptions.
- Eat for Your Health: Eating healthy is one of the most important self-care tips, yet the easiest one to fall by the wayside when we’re busy. I share some of my shortcuts to eating healthy, like taking one day to cook for the week and my favorite healthy take-out options, for when there truly is no time to cook.
- Highlights from the Three Minute Series: If you haven’t checked out the series, it is a must-do for busy caregivers. I tried every one of the tasks myself to see how much of a difference it can make. My favorite tactic from the three minute stress buster is the stretching, but I also love the inversion. Try them out! I regularly pack in my vitamins, from the tip in the three minute self-care post and I love the three minute mindfulness techniques from the three minute sanity saver post.
If you have someone who can fill in for you for an extended period, I highly recommend taking a 24 hour break from caregiving. You don’t need to go far. Stay with a friend or rent a hotel room near home. The idea is to take time for yourself, where you don’t have to take care of anyone else’s needs.
My girlfriends and I have started doing an annual weekend away in Palm Springs. It costs very little since the condo belongs to one of our friends and we just bring food to share for the weekend. We arrive Friday and return home Sunday. That little break from our families really helps all of us re-set. If you can get away, do it. Don’t feel guilty. I have put together a guide to help you get a stand-in set up.