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Caregiving Tips

Care-giving , though immensely rewarding, can be extremely taxing both physically and emotionally. If your care-giving duties have you feeling overwhelmed, irritable, or painfully exhausted, it is essential that you take a timeout before there is nothing left give. A little ‘me’ time goes a long way, and when you take proper care of yourself, the positive impact is far reaching.

* Exercise. When exhausted and tired after a long day of care-giving, exercise is not generally on the mind. That said, once you push yourself, just 20 minutes a night can make a genuine difference. A high impact cardio workout might burn in the beginning but the energy boost you get will have you feeling happy and refreshed, ready to tackle that never ending to-do list. If you need a motivator, splurge on new workout gear. It is always easier to exercise in something comfortable and sleek as opposed to a ratty tee and old yoga pants.

* Eat well. As a caregiver you are busy, which means you probably skip meals. Eating three wholesome meals a day filled with fruits and vegetables will give your body the right balance of vitamins and minerals. Nourishing your body can help fight against fatigue and enable you to better handle stress. Keep your house stocked with healthy food options, so that a square meal doesn’t require a whole shopping trip.

* Sleep. When you lose out on sleep you are more prone to become edgy, restless and Irritable. It also makes you more susceptible to stress. A good night’s sleep clears the mind and enables you to handle life’s ups and downs. Although the night hours may feel like the only time you have yourself, keep your eye on the clock, and make sure you don’t stay up too late.

* Meditate. Just a few minutes of timeout for yourself can be significant, and help alleviate everyday stresses. Meditation sounds fancy, but all you need to do is sit by yourself in a quiet room take a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Presto, you will feel refreshed , rejuvenated, and ready to conquer the world

* Massage. A massage can be extremely relaxing and stress relieving for many. If there is a stress buildup in your neck and back muscles, loosening the tightened muscles may help you feel more energized overall.

* Manicure and/or Pedicure .Many find that treating themselves to a manicure or pedicure helps them feel relaxed and puts them in a better mood. Nothing like a little indulgence to keep you going.

* Hobbies. Although care-giving will have you busier than ever, it is not the time to forget your hobbies. If you enjoy painting or crafts or some other hobby, setting aside the time for yourself to do something you enjoy can recharge your batteries and make you a better caregiver.

* Take a Hike.Taking a walk or short hike in a park, at a lake, brook or at the ocean can do wonders for the soul. Setting aside time to get outside and see a bit of nature will keep you refreshed and invigorated.

* Get Help. Contrary to what many caregivers believe, there is help to be had. The internet is full of excellent resources and forums that can guide and direct you along the way. When you think you had it and are not sure what the next step, or even the first step is sites like Elder Care: First Steps  can help you figure things out. Brew some coffee, pull up a chair, and get searching.