Even before the pandemic, the number of caregivers in the U.S. was on the rise. A May report by the National Alliance for Caregivers and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that an estimated 53 million people serve as caregivers, up from 43.5 million in 2015.
Most—80%—are caring for relatives, and the most common problems for those who need help include general aging issues, mobility, and Alzheimer’s or other neurological challenges.
The job is time-consuming and life-altering. Add a pandemic to the mix, with program closures and quarantines limiting interaction, and caregiving has grown even more grueling. Add all of this to the increased hours and few breaks as caregivers struggle to meet the physical and emotional needs of their loved ones.
So, it’s time to start caring for yourself. You may find yourself with a long to do list of tasks to complete, however, now you have to protect yourself from great physical and emotional instability which would make you unable to take care of your loved one. Below are some to-do’s you may want to place on your list.
Breathe, drink lots of water, nourish your body, sleep, move your body, laugh, write in a journal, meditate and/or visualize, give yourself some credit.