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 with getting tasks completed, but caregivers often forget to include some of the most important tasks of all—the ones that will enhance, 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, the 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: Very important to plan your meals, snacks ahead of time (when you aren’t tired or hungry) and keep healthy choices handy so you can keep your blood sugar/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, impaired driving ability.
5. Move your body: Just about any exercise can be of benefit to your physical, emotional, mental health if you do it on a regular basis.
One of equal importance is 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 Assn. Southern Arizona at www.apdaparkinson.org/community/arizona/resources-support-az or 520-326-5400, the Alzheimer’s Assoc. Desert Southwest Chapter at www.alz.org or 520-322-6601, and the Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens at www.pgcsc.org or 520-836-2758.