How caregivers can balance self care

If you really think about it, the person best qualified to care for you is yourself, because you know the most details about your life and you generally have a strong desire to maintain your own physical and mental health. In other words, you want to see yourself be healthy and to thrive.

Self-care involves making sure that you eat right and get all the nutrients you need, and that you exercise sufficiently. It also involves maintaining a constant knowledge of certain health factors like blood pressure and blood glucose. Keeping a constant eye on all of these things can help you to significantly reduce the risk of developing any health issues. For some extra resources on healthy living, especially essential nutrients and natural remedies, you can visit Consumer Advisors.

The Importance Of Self Care – Reading The Research

It has been mentioned that the idea of self care is to reduce the chance of developing health issues. It can also play a part in managing chronic disease that is already present. One scientific study looked at the correlation between the level of self care that patients who suffered from heart failure gave themselves and their rate of their rehospitalization. The study found that patients with a higher self care score had reduced hospitalization.

People who pay attention to their physical and mental health also have an improved quality of life. This may be because of reduced health problems but also because of a greater feeling of control in one's life and a greater knowledge of self. In fact, many philosophies discuss the importance of knowing as much about yourself as possible. Another scientific study looked at the association between self care and quality of life and found that those who had reduced levels of self-care also had reduced quality of life.

But What About Caring For Another Person?

So it's a great idea to take care of yourself. But sometimes circumstances require you to care for someone else on top of caring for yourself. Parents have to care for their children, some adults have to care for their aging parents and unfortunately, some people have to look after loved ones in need of extra care.

Caring for another human being is a huge responsibility and can impact on how you are able to care for yourself. For starters, caring for someone else takes a large amount of time, which reduces the amount of time you have to look after yourself. Secondly, caring for someone takes a large amount of energy. It can also place physical and mental stress on you, which impacts on your physical and mental health. Basically, having to care for another person is applying the self care principle to two people, but it's only being practiced by one person.

How To Care For Yourself When Caring For Another

Get the basics right:

Despite all of the impact that caring for someone may have on your own ability to take care of yourself, it is important to take a firm stance on a few things. Three things that should not be affected (or should be minimally affected) are your diet, your sleep cycle and exercise. You should still maintain a healthy level of each of these.

Cut yourself some slack

It is possible that since you have reduced time, that you may not be able to do the above as well as you would otherwise, but the important thing is to try and get them as close to healthy levels as possible. A little bit of exercise for example, is better than none.

Don't forget your aspirations and be realistic

I remember when I was caring for a friend of mine who had hip and jaw surgery, that I simply had no time to do what I wanted to do (which, believe it or not, was actually studying).  My aspirations had to take a backseat. But the important thing is that I didn't forget about them. I had to realize that there was another time and place where I could address my aspirations and I made a commitment to deal with them after this set of circumstances.

This may be difficult for someone providing long-term care, so in that case, I would recommend breaking your goals up into smaller and more manageable bits and taking short breaks to address them.


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