Caring For Yourself So You Can Care For Others

Caregiver Fatigue and Self-Care: Caring For Yourself So You Can Care For Others

All parents feel overextended at times, but the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and especially coming off the holidays, can really highlight a parent’s exhaustion. It is important to recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed and stretched to the limit, and what you might do to help get yourself back on track. If left unattended, ongoing fatigue and exhaustion can lead to health issues and feelings of despair. Don’t delay, self-care is not selfish! You can’t keep going and care for others if you aren’t well yourself.

Reclaiming order in your own life is critical. Here are some tips to help you navigate the obstacles and difficulties that arise, along with letting go of the guilt, stress and other energy-draining emotions which pull you down and make you feel exhausted.

Evaluate and prioritize: Take a deep breath and prioritize the tasks at hand. Does this need to be done right now or can it wait? What can be delegated to someone else? Have you over committed and need to scale back? Create boundaries where you can say “no” when you want/need. Many times, you can relax your standards, others won’t know what did not get done.

Let others help: Say “yes” to offers of help. Don’t assume others aren’t willing to pitch in. Ask directly and specifically for what you’d like them to do. Try reaching out, what’s the worst that could happen? Surround yourself with people who support you.

Let go of the guilt: Start each day fresh and know everything you do today is important and matters, even if it feels you did not check off enough tasks from the to-do list.

Respite: You NEED to take time for yourself to recharge your own batteries. Get together for coffee with a friend or enjoy some pampering. Sometimes you need to get creative when it comes to “me time”. Consider ways you can get time for yourself such as listening to an audio book when running errands or folding laundry.

Attend to your physical health: Pay attention to what you are eating, avoid the junk and eat healthy foods. Drink plenty of water, it aids in alertness and general energy. Get regular exercise, even 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference in how you feel. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, if you need rest, find a way to get some rest.

Let others around you know that you’re seeking a balance of self-care. Investing in yourself can make a real difference for you and those you love.