Caring for others is a job requiring heart. Whether you are a senior caregiver, a nanny, or work in another type of caregiving role, you know how much you invest in your charges daily. Unfortunately, if you don't take care of your mental, physical, or emotional well-being, you may feel exhausted and drained. Here are some tips for self care while you care for others.
#1: Remember your feelings matter.
Caregiving requires plenty of empathy, love, and patience. The feelings you experience in your job are real, and keeping your emotions hidden will only cause problems later. It would be best if you found a way to talk about your feelings to someone. For example, if you're a nanny, let the kids see you are willing to talk about your emotions. Talking about your feelings can set a great example, and is a normal and healthy part of life. In other words, it opens the window for them to talk about their feelings too.
#2: Stay on top of your doctor's visits.
It's easy to get into the mode of "If I'm not sick, why do I need to see the doctor?"” Don't fall into this trap – this could be one of the worst things you can do for yourself! Stay on top of your regular doctor's visits. Just like your car needs routine tune-ups and oil changes, so does your body. Take charge of your health and be proactive, making sure you talk to your doctor about any concerning family medical history or if you're feeling depressed or sad lately. In the long run, you will be doing your physical and mental health a huge favor.
#3: Take time off.
Whether you stay at home or plan a vacation, it's important to take your paid time off. Don't let those days sit unused. During the workday, it's also vital to take small breaks. Find 10 or 20 minutes to sit alone. Relax your neck and shoulders, close your eyes and meditate, or do something to help you recharge. Pack healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day, and make sure you're paying attention to the signs your body is giving you.
#4: Surround yourself with supportive people.
In this last year more than ever, we learned how important it was to stay connected to the people in your life who matter most. Your support system means so much as you go through the ups and downs of life. Make time for family and friends through visits, calls, texts, and letters.
#5: Take note of your job duties and wages.
Is your employer paying you under the table? Paying cash wages puts them at risk for hefty fees and fines, and puts you at a disadvantage for obtaining the benefits you earned. Paying on the books, following all tax obligations, ensures you are taken care of if you need unemployment, and helps cover you later in life when you want to claim Social Security benefits. Encourage your employer to pay fairly and legally by following payroll and tax rules. You are a valuable addition to the home you work in and the people you work around. Don't forget a good caregiver takes good care of themselves. For more tips on the benefits, you're welcome to visit us at www.homeworksolutions.com.