Self-Care for In-Home Caregivers: 16 Ideas to Improve Your Health

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As an in-home family caregiver, your physical health and well-being should be your top priority as you care for your loved one.

Last week, I kicked off this series on self-care with an overview of the necessity of personal health maintenance. Good self-care can be broken up into four categories:

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Spiritual
  4. Relational

The secret to good self-care is planning. And caring for yourself physically is no exception. It takes a lot of time to prepare healthy meals and get some exercise. You also have to find time to simply rest. So here are some steps to help you, the family caregiver, implement physical self-care:

  1. Get a planner. If you don’t have one already, get a weekly calendar. Start by penciling in your necessary appointments.
  2. Allot time. Make at least three appointments a week for your physical self-care.
  3. Ask for help. Enlist the help of friends, family or professionals to free up space in your calendar to care for your self.

To ensure that you follow through with your self-care, it’s important you pick activities you enjoy. Training for a half-marathon may not be the way to go if, like me, running makes you cry. However, a yoga class may provide you the physical activities and the relaxation you so desperately need. Here are some suggestions for physical self-care activities:

  1. Take a cooking class.  Caring for your physical health is more than just being active. Learn how to cook delicious and healthy options in a fun atmosphere by taking a cooking class.
  2. Take an afternoon nap. Rest is an important part of caring for your physical health. And an afternoon nap could be just what a weary caregiver needs.
  3. Drink plenty of water. Drinking your eight glasses of water a day is an easy way to make your health a priority.

Other suggestions include …

  • Go for a walk in a park.
  • Swing on a swing.
  • Go for a swim.
  • Ride a bike.
  • Sleep in on the weekends.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Reduce drinking alcohol and caffeine.
  • Complete a sugar detox.
  • Read in a hammock.
  • Visit the doctor.
  • Take a multivitamin.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Go to the gym.

What are some way you make your physical health a priority?

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