Simple Self-Care Techniques For Caregivers

Simple Self-Care Techniques For Caregivers

To give your best, you need to be your best. As a result of prioritizing their diagnosed loved one, caregivers often put aside their own needs. Nevertheless, self-care is a beneficial practice that can help ease anxiety and stress, which allows a caregiver to provide the best care. Below is a list of various forms of self-care to help maintain cognitive and physical health while caregiving:

  • Create a gratitude list/journal. Putting emotions to paper encourages you to “be in the moment,” while also being mindful. It can also help you focus on the positives.
  • Utilize meditation applications on your cell phones/computers or YouTube. There are many great resources that can help caregivers enter a state of relaxation and peace, including free meditation apps that can be accessed any time, any where.
  • Get moving! From indoor exercises like Zumba, chair exercise or yoga, to a walk around the block, physical exercise can help clear your head, improve your mood, and give you energy to help be your best self.
  • Take up a new hobby. Learn something new! Trying something unfamiliar, like cooking/baking, sewing/knitting, or immersing yourself in a hobby you already have can be stimulating and help relieve your mind from other matters.
  • Relax with a bath or shower. Take a break in warm water to sooth your muscle. To elevate your experience, add bath salts, essential oils or candles. Allow yourself to unwind. 
  • Stay in touch with friends and family. Communication is key! Talk with those who know you and your loved one best. They can provide the best support, comfort and suggestions. Not to mention, sometimes having a good laugh can make a huge difference!
  • Watch something upbeat. Find a show/movie to encourage you to laugh and smile. We suggest finding home videos and going down memory lane!
  • Get organized. Studies have shown many reasons why de-cluttering and putting things in order help ease stress and anxiety. Try cleaning out a drawer, closet, or purchasing a planner to help sort your calendar and to-do lists!
  • Remember to breathe! Your breath is a powerful tool to help ease tension. First try including breathing exercises into your daily morning or evening routine. That way, in a time of stress and need, you can refer back to this technique and feel confident.   
  • Keep your brain stimulated. Puzzles, such as crosswords, jigsaw and word search, can simultaneously help unwind and stimulate your brain, allowing yourself to tune out of other stressors.  
  • Figure out what the best method is for you! Every individual is different, and what works for one, may not work for another. Recognize what helps you best. Try different methods, such as crafting, writing, meditating, spending time with others, and see what makes you feel most comforted.

About the Author Dana Castoria

Dana’s personal interest in health and wellness ignites her passion to help execute impactful change in the nonprofit field. As a Hofstra University graduate with a degree in Public Health and a demonstrated history in communications, Dana is committed to merge the community, individuals and professionals of Long Island to help the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center achieve its mission. Having joined the team in July 2017, she came from an assisted living facility and with over 5 years’ experience in the senior care field. Dana helped the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center plant it’s feet and grow in the new Westbury location, and believes her efforts to attain the resources to further develop and sustain its services is her part in caring for and supporting diagnosed individuals and caregivers. Outside of the office, you can find Dana exploring Manhattan, on the beach with a volleyball, dog-watching at a park or spending time with her family and friends, especially if a board game is involved!

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease or dementia?