Caregiver in Elizabeth NJ
One of the many ways that family caregivers build up stress is that they often find themselves at the bottom of the priority list. Or, worse still, not even on the list. These tips can help you to change that.
Do Some Self-assessing
Take a look at your current situation, warts and all. Are you exercising? What kinds of foods are you eating? Are you getting enough sleep? You may already be doing a lot of things to prioritize your own self-care without even realizing it. It’s important to know that from the outset so that you can give yourself a pat on the back and acknowledge what you’re already doing. If you’re finding out that you’re not doing as well as you thought, don’t worry, because it’s not too late to make some changes.
Do Some Time Tracking
For a few days, start tracking your time. This means that for every activity, no matter how large or small, you note down what time you started and what time you stopped. It seems tedious at first, but this is a superb way to get in touch with what you actually do and how long it actually takes you to do it. You may find that you have some pockets of wasted time. You might also find that you have a packed schedule that includes zero wasted time at all. Regardless, it’s helpful to find out.
Enlist the Help of an Accountability Buddy
Once you know what you’re already doing for yourself, what you want to do for yourself, and what time exists in your day to do what you want for yourself, it’s time to get in motion. Work with a friend or family member to set up an accountability system. Let that other person know what changes you want to make and what you’re doing in order to make that happen. Then keep in touch with each other about your successes and your oops moments.
Set Yourself up for Success
All the while, you need to be setting yourself up for success. If you found during time tracking that you had a bit of wasted time, or at least time that could be better spent, rearrange your schedule or make changes that allow you to use that time for yourself. On the other hand, if you found that you had zero time, hire elder care providers or delegate some responsibilities to other family members or friends. Don’t allow what you learned to become an excuse for you not to prioritize your own care.
Start using your obstacles to help you solve your difficulties and you’ll find yourself at the top of your priority list.