When you become a caregiver, life as you knew it is forever changed. Not only do you reorient your life around someone else’s, but you learn to juggle new equipment, techniques, and challenges that come with their new lifestyle. In the shuffle, it’s easy to push your needs aside to attend to the needs of another, but doing so can create serious burnout. EZ-ACCESS wants you to recognize Emotional Wellness Month by putting yourself first in these four areas:
- Practice honesty: Guilt, resentment, loneliness, anger… you’ll experience them all as a caregiver, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is burying them under a brave face that you wear like a mask in front of others and to yourself. Be open about the struggles that come with full-time care, and take heart that your friends and support system want to walk with you through the highs and the lows.
- Increase your Zzzs: You help your loved one during every waking moment, so treasure the peace and private time that comes with sleep. Calm your mind with deep breathing or yoga-inspired stretches before bedtime, or spend time journaling out your emotions after a rough day, leaving you clear-headed and ready for bed and rest.
- Work it Out: The endorphin blast you receive from a workout keeps your body strong and spirits high. Finding a 30-minute block of time may be challenging, so try exercising in three 10-minute chunks throughout the day instead. Bonus points if you exercise with a buddy, who can provide extra motivation and TLC.
- Treat yourself: Take a break. Not only do you deserve it, you need it. Find an activity that brings you joy, and intentionally make time to practice it. Reading, browsing the Internet, blasting music, and watching funny videos feel like a luxury when your world revolves around someone else, so let yourself enjoy the moments that are all about you. Pamper yourself with the occasional massage or manicure to rely unwind and remind yourself that you’re a strong and valued individual.
It’s taxing work, but your role as a caregiver is so important. EZ-ACCESS can make life a little easier for you and your loved one with accessories and appliances that give you mobility and freedom. Reach out at (800)451-1903 to find out how we can give you a hand.