If you're a caregiver of any sort, then you're probably more concerned with the welfare of others than yourself. But just because you're used to giving of yourself doesn't mean that you shouldn't also be paying attention to your own needs. In fact, being a caregiver means that you should practice self-care even more to avoid burnout, which is why the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny presents the following tips for self-care practices that you should implement into your daily routine.
Nurses and caregivers are used to being on the clock at all times. However, this lifestyle often leads to exhaustion and burnout. You may feel like you don’t have a choice. But even if you can’t change your schedule or the demands put upon you, adding mindfulness to your routine can provide you with a needed respite. Being mindful forces you to take a step back from a busy day to concentrate on yourself for a bit to assess where you are mentally and emotionally. Suppose you aren't in the best place mentally - you at least have the time then to think through and process your emotions so that you can then take the necessary corrective steps from there.
Focus on Exercise
You're also probably used to being active all day, but being active doesn't always equate to getting in the workout that your body and mind require for overall well-being. So, if you feel like you've been exercising, but it's not quite enough, consider doing some strength training exercises to boost your physical stamina. If you're not sure how to push your body and your routine, download a workout app designed specifically for people on the go, such as the MyFitnessPal app or the popular Daily Burn app, to help get you started.
Also, your mental health will most likely thank you, too, as you experience a boost in mood as a result of those feel-good endorphins working their magic. If your place of work is in a safe and walkable area, consider taking short walks on your breaks. Even a few minutes outside in nature and away from work responsibilities can lift your spirits and give you the energy to complete your day.
Making sure that you get enough sleep is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially if your body and mind have been conditioned to push through long nights and extended shifts. Nonetheless, getting quality restful sleep is essential to feeling more alert and refreshed the next day. Moreover, without good sleep, both your body and mind will struggle the next day. So, do your best to tuck in early.
If you struggle to fall asleep, remove some common distractions that may be keeping you up at night. Clutter can cause anxiety and make it difficult for your body and mind to relax. Take some time to tidy up your bedroom before you head to bed. Cleaner Digs explains that you can make a quick plan and store items in plastic bins, so that it is easier to maintain a clean, organized space. to get a minimum of seven to nine hours of rest each night.
Our bodies are good at telling us what we need. We are simply out of practice listening. If you are feeling restless or overly irritated every day, your body may be telling you that you need to change jobs. Pay attention to these feelings of restlessness and honestly evaluate whether your job – or even your career - is the right fit for you at this point in your life. Perhaps you love being a caretaker, but the demands of your current employer are simply too much. Consider contracting with another company or even being your own boss.
Running your own caregiving service will be a lot of work, but being your own boss also allows you to set your schedule in a way that also supports your mental health. Be aware that getting health insurance as a freelancer can be challenging though. It will be an easier transition if you can join a spouse’s policy, but there are discounted programs through the Affordable Care Act that can make carrying your own insurance more feasible.
Start Fresh in a New Area
If you are unhappy with your current surroundings and want to try living somewhere new, start looking for a new place! Moving doesn’t have to involve purchasing a brand-new home. Instead, you can look for an apartment until you’re ready to plant roots in your new neighborhood. Start by looking at local apartments for rent and see if you can find something you like. Don’t rush things. Wait until you find the right place so you don’t feel as though you’ve simply settled for a new place to live.
Take Steps Towards Balance in Your Life
Being a caregiver takes a lot out of you both physically and emotionally, which is why it’s so important to prioritize your mental health through self-care practices. Take the time to listen to your body. It will likely reveal what it needs so that you can be healthy, happy, and productive. Whether it’s pausing for daily walks, creating a decluttered and calm sleeping space, or going out on your own as an entrepreneur, do whatever it takes to keep yourself happy. You only get one life. Live it well.
If you are struggling with domestic issues, contact the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny. We understand the emotional and physical toll that divorce, domestic violence, and child custody disputes have on everyone involved. It is our goal to make resolutions as simple as possible so you can regain your balance and mental health.