Guest Post: Sally Perkins' Tips for Caregiving
Today, I am honored to welcome Sally Perkins to my blog with some tips for caregivers. For those of you in this position, she has a great article with 30 Tips for Caregivers that you should check out. Here is a sample of some of her tips:
Caregiving? Replenish Your Energy
We tend to think of caregivers as people who are doing things for someone. And while it’s true that caregivers do a lot of things -- cleaning, cooking, shopping etc., caregiving is way much more than just doing. Caregiving is an act of love. It’s astonishing to think of all the ways in which a caregiver gives to a loved one, with the strength of their bodies, hearts and minds. Which is why caregivers need to replenish their energy.
Time to take a day off
If you’re a parent, you know the drill. You cook, you clean, you shop, you do the laundry, then you do it all over again. If you’re a caregiver as well, then you get to do it three times over. There’s no doubt about it, you will get physically exhausted. When you’re wiped out, remember that you’re no good to anyone. Love yourself enough to stop and take a deep breath. It’s probably time to take a day off.
If you’re taking a day off from caregiving, here’s one excellent piece of advice: take the day off. Don’t use your day off to catch up on other errands, tempting as that may be. Here’s the trick. Identify three day-off activities that you find personally relaxing and if possible, a companion to make sure you stick to the plan. A day at the spa; lunch and a movie; it doesn’t matter what, as long as it relaxes you
Need help? Take it
A word to the wise: if you try to be everything for everyone it will end badly. Don’t try to do everything yourself. A caregiver need not be ashamed to ask for help. Divvy out chores in exchange for treats. Every little bit of help counts. Kids can take the trash out, load the dishwasher, play a board game with Grandpa. When a neighbor asks if they can do anything for you, say yes. Do a bit of research to find out what kind of help is available in your area. You might be pleasantly surprised at the range of resources for caregivers that are out there for you. For example, did you know that there are people in your community who have signed up to help caregivers with tasks like meal delivery and driving to appointments. All you have to do is request the help?
Build your energy
You’re not going to make it if you don’t build up your energy. Take care of yourself so you have the strength for caregiving. Exercise and diet are two open secrets in this regard. Where are you to get the time, you might wonder? It’s time to get creative. Become an expert on quick workout sessions. When all else fails, organize an evening dance session for the family. Dancing can be an amazing workout and lots of fun. Learn how to make quick, healthy meals. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, look into getting meals delivered to the person you care for. In addition to a nutritious meal, they will be getting companionship too.
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.