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5 Tips for Family Caregivers with a Full Time Job

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By Kathryn Parks

Caring for a sick or elderly family member can be an extremely demanding job all on its own, and if you are still holding down a full-time job while caring for your loved one, your life can become very hectic indeed. Just as you would advise friends or other family members to make sure they are getting plenty of rest and help, keep reading for some tips that will help you make sure you are getting enough self-care while you are caring for your loved one.

One of the most important things to consider while providing care to your family member is maintaining a balance to ensure that you can prevent caregiver burnout. If you find yourself overly anxious or in a situation where you are becoming increasingly overwhelmed, try these 5 simple tips, especially if you are having to maintain a full-time job while caring for your loved one.

Tip 1: Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

You hear it all the time, sleep, diet, and exercise are the fundamental go-to answers for almost anything that ails you. We’re not suggesting that you make sweeping changes to your current way of living, as a matter of fact that much change might have an adverse effect. However, there are three things that you can do that are tiny and don’t require a lot of additional energy to maintain.

The first, is to stay hydrated. Perhaps it can be as simple as a tracker that assists you to make sure that you are getting the proper amount of water for the day, or some kind of measurement system, or simple alarms that remind you that you should be on your next bottle for the day.

Second, is nutrition, and while we of course recommend a balanced diet full of as many healthy things as you could possibly handle, the most important thing is to simply remember to eat. It is easy to get distracted caring for your loved one and then you find yourself skipping the occasional meal.

Lastly, it really is okay to get out and take a 20-minute walk. Not only will even the slightest bit of exercise increase the good hormones in your body, but the quick walk will allow you to take a break and get some much-needed sunshine. If you don’t like walking, any little exercise will do, even if it is something simple like getting away from your desk at work for 5 minutes each hour.

Tip 2: Find Support

Everyone needs a break and giving yourself some time to make sure that you are taking care of all of your other responsibilities can make you feel more successful, which can give you the boost you need to be a more responsive and attentive caregiver.

Respite care services can help provide relief for family caregivers who need to take care of themselves too. Hiring respite care assistance means that the little things that tend to fall off your plate like pet care, laundry, light housekeeping, and making meals, get taken care of. Additionally, something that becomes difficult when you have a full-time job is making sure that your loved one gets back and forth to their doctors’ appointments and weekly social activities. With the help of a respite care provider, you can have a trusted, compassionate, well-trained individual to help you with those things.

Tip 3: Take Care of Your Mental health

Daily life can be taxing and adding the care of another individual on top of that can leave you vulnerable to depression, especially if you are neglecting your own needs. Seeking out the advice and knowledge of other caregivers may help. Making sure that you have time to discuss your fears and emotions with a friend or loved one can also help. Most importantly, if you start to notice symptoms of depression such as irritability, trouble concentrating, weight loss or gain, and changes in your sleep pattern, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your own doctor or a therapist.

Tip 4: Attend Social Activities

Yes, it really is okay to go out with friends for a cup of coffee, continue to nurture your hobbies, and maintain your relationships with friends. Isolation while providing care for a loved one is the opposite of what you want. So, go ahead and have game night with your weekly group, and again if you are finding yourself unable to do this because you need someone to provide companionship and keep a close eye on your loved one while you are gone, consider some respite care services.

Tip 5: Take Advantage of Helpful Resources

There are digital resources abundantly available to help guide you on your caregiving journey. Whether you empower yourself with knowledge that will help you understand more about your loved one’s conditions, or you find articles like this one so that you are better able to cope with your own struggles. Explore our website for abundant resources to help you in your commitment to your loved one.

Our resources include things such as safety tips, financial support, information about chronic conditions, and tips and advice for caregivers. Our resource library is extensive and always growing, so keep checking in for more information.

These 5 tips for caring for loved ones while you hold a full-time job can create success even in the most stressful of situations.

Think about how amazing it feels to know that you are successful in all of the things you are committed to. You are successful because of your determination and commitment, and your decision to provide care for your loved one is no different. If you remember to adopt a healthy lifestyle, by maintaining your hydration and not skipping meals, and having a few minutes a day when you get some kind of exercise, it will help significantly. Don’t forget to seek support from others, take care of your mental health, maintain your social activities, and take advantage of all of the resources available to you. Following these 5 tips will help you find the success that you know you are capable of.

For more information, please contact the caregiving experts at Homewatch CareGivers of Annapolis today.

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