Last year, Covid-19 ravaged the world and made the already difficult job of care giving even more difficult. 2021 is shaping up to be similar, with the pandemic still going strong as well as political and social upheaval. With so much going on, a self care plan is more important than ever—especially if you’re a caregiver.
If you’re hoping to bring positive change to yourself this year, creating a personalized self care plan is a great strategy. Here are a few suggestions on how to create your own self care plan to make coping as a family caregiver easier.
Create a mental health check sheet
A mental health check sheet is a helpful way you can mentally check in with yourself and see where you are mentally. You may be feeling stressed, sad, or angry, but until you sit down and think about your emotions, you may not realize that’s what’s driving your day.
A mental health check sheet might include questions such as:
- How are you feeling?
- What are you working towards today?
- What do you need right now?
- What might help improve your mental health?
By answering these questions on a daily basis, you can check in with your mental health and get the care you need before it becomes too big of a problem to ignore.
Address the needs you find
Only you know what a self care routine looks like for you. Some people might find a massage relaxing, while other people dread the idea of a stranger’s hands on them. One person might need time alone to relax, while another person might need to visit with friends to relax.
Don’t be afraid to be honest with your needs. If you feel guilty about leaving your parents alone, but really need that time to yourself, a respite care worker might be the right solution to handle your needs.
Ignoring them won’t help you or your parents. Instead, pushing yourself past your limits will only cause you to feel resentful, which is never a good thing.
Self care ideas
While everyone needs their own, unique self care plan, if you’ve never formed one before you may not know where to start. Great examples of self care routines include practicing meditation, eating a healthy diet, trying new things, getting good sleep, etc.
Spending time with your friends, or even just taking a break to go shopping can all be self care. When you know what you need in order to be in a good mental state of health, schedule these things for yourself regularly.
Especially as a caregiver, it is easy to fall into the trap of constantly putting off the things that give you joy or bring you relief. When you make yourself your top priority, you’re not being selfish. Instead, you are giving yourself the mental strength and fortitude to bring your best self to caregiving for as long as it is needed.
For more information or help with respite care, reach out to the caring experts at Homewatch CareGivers of Annapolis today.