About 1 in 3 Americans are caregivers. They are helping loved ones, friends or neighbors with daily tasks due to their illness, disability or other factors. Most caregivers also have other jobs and responsibilities while spending an average of 24 hours a week caring for others. For many, this can be a very challenging time faced with difficult decisions and it can feel impossible to balance the multiple demands each day may bring. It’s common for a caregiver to put their own needs aside in place of meeting the needs of their loved ones. But since they can’t give what they don’t have, caregivers do need to put themselves first at times to restore their own overall wellbeing.
Tips for Self-Care
Eat a Healthy Diet – High fat or sugary foods can sap energy. Instead, choose vegetables, fruits and beans to give the immune system a boost and to satisfy hunger.
Get Enough Sleep – Lack of sleep impacts the ability to think clearly, leads to irritability and can put one at risk for chronic disease such as heart disease and diabetes. Make sleep a priority.
Exercise More – Even in small doses, exercise improves mood and concentration – like taking a natural antidepressant.
Focus on Priorities – Making a list of what’s most important helps to let go of tasks that can wait.
Consider Flexibility – Asking if flexible work arrangements are available, like working from home, can help save time and energy to put forth elsewhere.
Ask for Help – Expanding the network of doers and sharing responsibilities with others provides the gift of time and respite.
Stay Connected – Connecting with friends, especially those with a positive attitude, is a good way to boost a mood and improve overall wellbeing.
Seek Professional Help – Joining a support group and/or talking to a counselor are both great avenues to care for caregivers.
To learn more about Caregiver Support, watch this short video.
American Fidelity's EAP Can Help
For confidential guidance, support, resources and referrals, contact American Fidelity's EAP by selecting an icon from the Access Bar on the home screen or by calling 1-800-295-8323.