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Live Well: Self-Care Tips for Caregivers

March 22, 2024


Caregivers frequently experience high rates of burnout, which is why regular self-care is essential. Self-care helps ensure you are healthy enough to continue offering support to loved ones.

If you are overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, focus on these self-care areas first: getting enough high-quality sleep, eating nourishing foods, being physically active, finding time to relax and socialize, and knowing when to reach out for help. Aim for at least one act of self-care each day to avoid burnout.

Here are some simple self-care strategies to cope with the stress associated with caregiving:

  1. Build a strong support system: Join a support group, community organization, or network geared toward supporting caregivers. Not having a strong support system can make you more vulnerable to burnout and compassion fatigue.
  2. Practice deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing can help reduce anxiety and blood pressure. In stressful moments, take a moment to do some deep breathing before responding.
  3. Be physically active: Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins that can help relieve stress and tension. Take periodic breaks from caregiving and recharge your emotional batteries.
  4. Create a daily self-care routine: Select a personal playlist of self-care activities that you do on a regular basis. Creating a self-care routine makes it less likely that you’ll forget.
  5. Get good sleep: Make it a priority to get good quality sleep. Your body needs rest to recover from the physical, mental, and emotional stress of caregiving.
  6. Reach out for support: Learn how to recognize signs of caregiver burnout and know when to reach out for support. Keep a running list of what you need help with and let friends and family choose how they can help.

Self-care looks different for everyone. You may need to experiment with several different strategies before you find ones that work well for you. Your health matters too.