When you are caring for another person, you may find yourself with a long to-do list on a regular basis. Lists can be very helpful for getting tasks completed, but caregivers often forget to include some of the most important tasks of all—the ones that will enhance and protect their own physical and emotional well-being.
Here are some to-do’s that you may want to place on your list:
1. Breathe: Try breathing in through your nose, inflating your belly, then exhaling slowly through your mouth as your belly deflates.
2. Drink water: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
3. Nourish your body: It is very important to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time (when you aren’t tired or hungry), and keep healthy choices handy so you can keep your blood sugar and mood stable.
4. Sleep: Try to get six to eight hours of shut-eye. Sleep deprivation can cause problems such as irritability, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, and impaired driving ability.
5. Move your body: Just about any exercise can be of benefit to your physical, emotional, and mental health if you do it on a regular basis.
It is equally important to take a break. It’s important to get time away from the person you are caring for. Do whatever it takes to get some time off.
Some suggested resources are the American Parkinson Disease Association at 520-326-5400, The Alzheimer’s Association at 520-322-6601, and the Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens at 520-836-2758.