The holiday months can be a rough time for caregivers, particularly those in colder climates. Caregiving for a loved one with an illness that impairs verbal skills can contribute to loneliness. In addition, there may be other circumstances that prevent other family members from aiding. This can leave a caregiver feeling discouraged and isolated.
As we head into the heart of winter, these tips might be helpful to caregivers looking for ways to avoid the post-holiday blues.
Make it a priority to eat a balanced meal. Juggling caregiving duties and your responsibilities makes life more hectic. Even someone following a healthy diet may struggle due to a lack of time. Fast food and convenience foods are quicker, but they only end up making you feel more tired and sluggish. They also contribute to health problems, such as weight gain, diabetes, and cardiac disease.
Take advantage of curbside grocery pickup if you can’t fit grocery shopping and meal preparation into your busy schedule. Preparing and freezing foods in batches also help save time.
Get up and move. Unfortunately, the hustle of caregiving doesn’t provide enough physical exercise. Fitness activities increase energy, improve sleep, and help beat stress. Each is essential for mental and physical health. Start by incorporating a quick workout session 3 times a week for 15 minutes, rather than trying to find 30 uninterrupted minutes. You can still get plenty of health benefits from walking, yoga, Pilates, and Zumba; all activities you can easily do at home.
Tend the spirit
You are human, and caregiving is a rollercoaster of emotions and can begin to impact your mental health. Art projects, meditation, and journaling can all help nurture the spirit. Joining a support group will help you find others going through similar experiences. One of the best remedies is laughter. It is the best medicine. Actively look for ways to laugh more such as a movie or TV show. Start your morning by Googling some jokes & enjoying them. Humor makes tough days a little less emotional for you and your family member.
Don’t take on these feelings alone. If you are still feeling down, it may be time to seek professional help whether it’s for you or your loved one so that you can get the break you deserve.
If you think it may be time for your family to consider senior living, Reformed Church Home offers a home-like environment. Whether or not you choose our community, we hope you’ll continue to weigh your options and make an informed decision. If you’d like to learn more, call, visit, or explore our website to learn more about the quality of life at our senior living community in Old Bridge, NJ!