Now that people are having children later in life, there is a whole generation of folks overwhelmed by caring for their school-age kids while also caring for elderly parents.
Between your daily tasks and all the needs you serve constantly, it is extremely important to take time for yourself. Self-care helps establish a life balance that will allow you to continue serving your loved ones without sacrificing your health or happiness.
Validate Your Feelings
It is normal to feel a whole array of emotions when giving so much of yourself away to someone else. Recognize your frustration, anxiety, sadness, fear, etc, and validate that it is okay. Too often, caregivers ignore their emotions to be strong for those they are caring for. Your emotions are valid and you should not feel guilty for having them. Find solutions and constructive ways of coping with your feelings.
Spend Time Outdoors
Nothing lifts the spirits quite like nature. The bonus here is that time spent outdoors benefits everyone, so feel free to go on regular walks or enjoy time in nature with your elderly loved one. If you are stuck indoors, open a window and breathe in the fresh air deeply as you relax.
Nourish Your Body
Caregivers often neglect themselves to the point that basic needs are not being met. You will feel your best if you eat nutritious, healthy meals at regular intervals. Consider solutions to eating healthy when you are low on time. Also, try buying a fancy or decorative water bottle that you will want to carry with you and drink from all day. Six to eight glasses of water per day will drastically help your body feel better!
Ask For Help
Some of the tasks a caregiver does can be delegated to others. Perhaps you have a teenage child or sibling who would be willing to schedule doctor appointments. Perhaps you can create a quick check-in routine multiple friends and family can accomplish each day so you can free up a little more time. If you are feeling overwhelmed with caregiver responsibilities, learn to ask for help!
These four tips are by no means all you can do to care for yourself as someone else’s caregiver. The thing here to remember is that your health and happiness is just as important as the loved ones you are caring for!
February is National Heart Health Month, which means there couldn’t be a better time to learn more about the heart and what it means to keep it healthy, especially as we age.
Heart health affects more than just the heart. If your heart is healthy, you’ll feel the effects because the heart is pumping as it should and circulating proper amounts of blood and nutrients throughout your body. Conversely, if you’re heart is unhealthy, you’ll feel the negative effects throughout your entire body and find that it hinders many parts of your life.
Caregivers should be putting heart health on the front burner this month and remind their aging loved ones that it’s never too late to start practicing healthy heart habits!
Here are 6 habits that promote heart health and longevity that seniors and caregivers should learn to incorporate into their daily routines:
Healthy Heart Habits to Adopt:
- Stop smoking! This is perhaps the WORST thing you can do for your heart at any age, but even more so as you age.
- Exercise regularly by doing something you love. It will get your blood pumping, keeping you strong and healthy.
- Eat a colorful range of fruits and veggies because different colors and varieties of fruits and veggies will give you the nutrients needed to stay healthy.
- Take an omega-3 supplement. Most Americans are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, which causes the risk for heart disease to sky-rocket.
- Prioritize your protein by avoiding red meats like beef, lamb, and pork. Instead, stick to healthy protein like fish and eggs, as well as leaner meats like turkey and chicken.
- Know the symptoms and warning signs of heart disease. In addition to working on better heart health, it’s important to work on your overall health. Health conditions that are not related to the heart can actually increase your risk for heart disease, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself in all areas of your life!
Although heart disease risks increase with age, it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of getting older. Making the right diet choices and creating healthy habits can help protect you.
February is not only National Heart Health Month, but it’s also the month of Valentine’s Day, which means it’s important to keep your heart healthy for yourself, as well as your loved ones.