Just For You—Caregiver Health Tip

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12 ways to recharge your batteries

If you’re feeling stress and burnout from your role as a caregiver, you aren’t alone. Learning to recognize the signs may help you learn how to cope with stress. Here are some ways to help you recharge.

Fun Fact—66 Million—that’s the estimated number of caregivers in the U.S., a number reported by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2012 update.1 We know that caregivers rarely get a break once they step into the caregiving role—we hear this from our customers like you all the time.

We know people are living longer. So that means caregiving routines are stretched out for longer periods of time. On average, a 75-year-old caregiver spends about 34 hours per week on caregiving, compared to a 65-year-old who provides just 30 hours per week, according to a collaborative report published by Johns Hopkins University.1 Hopefully these numbers give pause for thought for caregivers.

When stress and burnout leave you feeling tired, overwhelmed, or angry, and tense—here’s a few simple ways to revitalize your spirit. While it’s best to discuss stress with your healthcare provider and follow their guidelines, here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and American Psychological Association.2, 3

Go ahead and give yourself permission for some downtime.

  1. Get plenty of rest each night.
  2. Eat healthy balanced meals each day.
  3. Take frequent breaks when needed.
  4. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air.3
  5. Set boundaries in your relationships with other people.
  6. Ask yourself: Have I been too generous with my time with other people that I’ve forgotten to take care of me?
  7. Say no if you’re overextended or overwhelmed.
  8. Create a social circle so you have other people to lean on.3
  9. Find someone to confide in if you need to talk.
  10. Add some creativity to your life. Whether painting, writing or woodworking sounds fun, making time for activities gives you something to look forward to.
  11. Try to recall old hobbies. Or just find a new one.
  12. Consider giving yourself the first few moments of the day for a brisk walk, praying/meditating or enjoying a cup of hot tea.

Reference: 1. https://caregiver.org/selected-caregiver-statistics 2012 update 2. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/coping_with_stress_tips.html 3. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/emotional-support.aspx

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