“Self-care.” You hear those words often from your doctor, people in your support group, but you don’t really get what it means. Self-care is simple. It’s all about taking care of yourself and not getting so busy caring for others that you lose track of your own needs.
The Goals of Self-Care
With self-care, the idea is that you take care of yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, how can you give your all to your parent? You can’t ignore your own mental, physical, and emotional health needs and focus only on others. If you do, you risk burning out or having a meltdown.
Four Steps to Self-Care
There are four main steps involved in a comprehensive self-care plan.
Emotional – Your emotional needs for love, happiness, and care of yourself should come before others. One of the things you have to focus on for emotional needs is that you don’t give so much of your own energy that you’re drained and have nothing left to take care of your own emotional health. One way to care for your emotions is by keeping a journal and exploring what makes you angry, joyful, sad, happy, etc.
Physical – You need to take time every day to be active. You need to get outside and walk around, watch and follow along with a favorite fitness activity like Zumba or Yoga, or ride your bike. No matter what you like to do, you need to make sure you are physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
Psychological – Psychological needs include growth and learning. What have you always wanted to master? Are there hobbies you’ve wanted to try that you’ve never made time for. Has an online certification course been appealing to you, but you’ve skipped it in order to focus on others? It’s time to exercise your brain and embrace personal development and growth.
Spiritual – Spiritual care doesn’t mean you have to attend church or embrace religion if that’s not your thing. If it is, take the time to attend a service. If not, it could be learning to meditate and relieve stress, going out into nature and embracing the wonders of the seasons, plants, and earth’s cycles, or simply being mindful. Meditation is a good place to start if you’re looking to explore your spirituality.
Why Bother With Self-Care?
Many family caregivers focus so much of their attention on their parents, children, and significant other that they lose track of themselves. If they keep ignoring their own needs, stress builds up. Anxiety, depression, weight gain, and loss of self-esteem are all possible risks.
Leave time for self-care by hiring elder care aides to help out. If your parents need your help 24/7, take a break and let elder care aides help out while you’re focusing on your own needs.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Moorpark, CA please contact the caring staff at Absolutely Able Home Care today. (818) 714-4026
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