Forty (40) Self-Care Tips for Caregivers in the Extended Pandemic

Forty (40) Self-Care Tips for Caregivers in the Extended Pandemic

We are entering a new wave of the pandemic. The spread of delta variant across the country is causing a rise in the number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. At this moment no end to this wave is in sight.

Family and professional caregivers must be vigilant in their caregiving responsibilities for others. Caregivers must pay careful attention to self-care in these weeks and months ahead.

Nearly 70 million family caregivers are providing care at some level to family members. Additionally, many more professional caregivers are assisting families in providing caregiving. 

We would like to offer a list of forty (40) self-care tips for caregivers and encourage caregivers to remember to take care of themselves.  We want caregivers to know that self-care is not selfish. In fact, we believe self-maintenance is required if individuals are going to be compassionate and competent caregivers. Paid or non-paid, the caregivers role is vital and essential to sustaining the lives to those they provide care.

Frequently, caregivers feel undervalued and unappreciated. Caregivers provide care to young and old, sick and frail, and many others requiring their help and support. 

Caregiving is demanding. Caregivers frequently neglect their physical, mental and financial health. Neglecting any of these will have long term negative effects on a caregiver’s future.

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter said, “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers”.

Caregivers are a vital and essential part of making the world go around. In this extended pandemic we cannot do without them.

Forty (40) Self-Care Tips for Family and Professional Caregivers in the Extended Pandemic:

Take Care of Your Physical Health (10)

  • Take a walk– walk outdoors, walk in a mall, just keep it moving
  • Buy an at home piece of cardio equipment if it is easier for you to exercise at home-Facebook Marketplace is a good place to shop for pre-owned equipment
  • Exercise at home to a YouTube video
  • Prioritize a good nights sleep and make an effort to get to bed early
  • See your doctor and dentist as required, and keep suggested appointments
  • Pay attention to your labs and address the issues your doctor is concerned about regarding your health
  • Eat as healthy as possible, plan ahead
  • Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine, sugary beverages, and alcohol
  • Protect yourself from exposure during the pandemic, wear a mask, social distance, be selective about where you in public
  • Get your COVID-19 vaccination-current statistics are showing this is one of best choice you can make

Take Care of Your Mental Health (3)

  • Speak to yourself positively about your efforts to provide the best care
  • Check in on yourself: do a self-assessment on how you are feeling, have you been getting angry quicker, what are the things that are causing you stress, etc.
  • Seek out professional mental health support either virtually or in person

Set Aside Quiet Time (8)

  • Read a book
  • Take a long bath
  • Light a scented candle
  • Listen to soothing music that ordinarily would not be your first choice
  • Put your feet up for five minutes in the middle of your day
  • Go to a park and sit on a bench – observe and listen to nature
  • Start a daily journal – also include statements of gratefulness
  • Take time for quiet mindfulness, prayer or meditation

Make Sure You Stay Connected (5)

  • Join a virtual book club
  • Seek out free community and virtual lectures for enjoyment and learning
  • Start a weekly or monthly Zoom meeting family or friends
  • Meet a friend for fellowship at your favorite outdoors restaurant
  • Meet a friend for a walk in the park

Seek Out Support and Assistance (4)

  • Accept help when offered
  • Ask for assistance from family
  • Secure and hire assistance
  • Join a virtual caregivers support group

Treat Yourself (5)

  • Fix a “splurge” meal at home, something that you would consider too pricey to order from a restaurant
  • Spend money on one of the entertainment subscriptions (NetflixAmazon PrimeHULUDisney+, etc) and enjoy an abundance and variety of entertainment at home
  • Go to a movie, wear a mask; the theaters are not crowded
  • Go for a spa treatment at a spa where COVID precautions are being carefully adhered-a massage, facial, pedicure or manicure
  • Go to a free outdoor concert-go solo, take a friend or invite family

Take Care of Your Financial Health (5)

  • If it is challenging to work out of home and be a caregiver-look for work you can do remotely
  • Establish your own virtual business or income stream
  • Address your financial needs, make a plan for the future
  • Balance your checkbook
  • Attend a virtual class on budgeting and financial planning

Thank you for your vital and essential work!  Especially during this extended pandemic. Practice self-care and be safe!

To learn more about StaffLink’s exceptional caregivers and the services they provide click here.

Gretchen Curry, MSPH