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Taking Care of Caregivers – How to Stay Healthy and Happy!

One of the most important jobs you can have in life is providing care for another. Whether it is a child, a disabled adult or a senior, being a caregiver can be joyful and fulfilling. However, it can also be debilitating to you both physically and emotionally, and can be one of the most challenging jobs of your life.

So, how do you, as a caregiver, stay motivated and cheerful while taking care of another? Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy and happy while caregiving:

1. Realize that you can’t do it all. One of the things we do as human beings is take on more than we can handle, especially when it comes to the care of another. Realizing that you can’t do it all helps you set boundaries and limits, and then you can ask for help. By asking others for help, you take some of the responsibility off your shoulders, while easing the physical and mental strain.

2. Get your physicals! Make sure you don’t put your own health needs off. Understandably, you do not want your elder to be left with someone else to take care of them. But realize that if you have a health issue that needs attention and you ignore it, you may become unable to care for them in the future.

3. Follow your own health advice. As a caregiver you are probably making sure that your elder eats healthy, gets plenty of rest and exercises. Are you doing the same for yourself? If not, you need to start doing it. After all, you want to be there a long time for them.

4. Find time to do breathing exercises. Yoga and/or meditation are great ways to alleviate stress both physically and mentally. Set time aside – 10 or 20 minutes – to do breathing exercises or yoga stretches. Allow yourself some quiet time to relax – it will keep you healthy and balanced!

5. Take a break! Take a walk each day, go to a dog park and watch the dogs run and play, smell the flowers – take a break and do something that you enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for a few minutes or an hour, it is just important that you take a break from your caregiving duties.

Caregiving is a very important job no matter who you are taking care of – whether it is a senior, a child, or disabled person. But just as it is important taking care of them, it is important to take care of yourself. By making sure you set boundaries and limits, see the doctor on a regular basis, follow your own health advice, and find time for relaxation and breaks, you will be more productive, happy and less stressed.

What are other types of things that you do to stay healthy and happy as a caregiver?

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