It's not about time
“Me Time” can be a handful of minutes or several hours, depending on your own personal needs. If you panic at the idea of being gone for hours on end, try taking just a few minutes by yourself when you know your family member is resting. Even if the dishes still need doing or the laundry needs turning around, taking a few minutes to open a book or putting your feet up is just as important.
It's easy for other family members to turn a blind eye to how much you are doing. It may not be that they mean for you to do everything, but with their own work or lives keeping them busy, they may not realize just what you are doing. Talk to them about it, and ask for them to take on some of the load.
Adopt “Me Time” Mondays
Pay special attention to taking care of yourself at least once a week, and make a point of doing something that brings you joy. Caregiving can take up all of your energy, even if you're only helping out part time. Make sure you are still doing things that make you happy too.
Take baby steps
If you're uncomfortable caring for yourself, try doing something very small to start out with. Even a phone call to a friend can be a good step in the right direction. You might also try gardening, checking out a book from the library, or anything else that makes you happy but doesn't take so much time it stresses you even more.
Ask for additional help
Caregivers are naturally nurturing people. Even if they fell into the role by accident, they may be hesitant to reach out to others in order to get the break they need. The truth is though, taking care of others must start with taking care of yourself first.
Respite care is one way for caregivers to get the help they need. Respite care allows the family caregiver to step out for a little bit and get the “me time” they truly need. More importantly, they can relax without an endless string of terrifying events going through their brain because they know a responsible professional is in their place offering top quality care.
This is also one of the best options if your family lives very far away, or if the things you want to do involve getting out of the house without feeling guilt.
Taking care of yourself is very important for many reasons. You will make fewer mistakes, are less likely to be ill, and you'll be less likely to suffer from caregiver burnout. Even if it's only for a few minutes, finding ways to get a little 'me time' is extremely important for everybody's sake. Don't be afraid to call in help if you need to, so you can go out and live your life when you want to, but also can still be there for the family member you love so much.
Homewatch CareGivers of Charlotte, North Carolina can assist with the respite care you need and deserve. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Let our compassionate Charlotte caregiver team assist you and your loved one. Contact us for more details today.