Miroslava L. Pradella, LCSW, CASAC II
Licensed therapist and School Social Worker promoting mental health and wellness.
Are you the person who everyone seems to depend on? Are you constantly making sure that everyone in your circle is taken care of? Do you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? If so, this article is for you.
Self Care for Caregivers
Find something positive every day.
Little things like saying thank you to someone for a small gesture such as holding the door, expressing your appreciation to a spouse/partner, coworker or child and writing thank you notes for gifts can make a difference for both you and the other person. Write down several things each day that you are grateful for. It helps to identify five things at the end of the day that went well or left you with a feeling of gratitude.
Learn how to relax.
Rest and relaxation can be critical to managing stress and minimizing anxiety. Those who find it difficult to let go and relax may find yoga, breathing or stress management classes helpful. Regulating your breath can have calming effect on the mind and loosens tension held in the body. Sitting quietly at home for 5-10 minutes each day to simply be aware of your breathing can enhance relaxation.
Move around every day.
Exercise and movement can be gardening, playing with your pets, dancing, stretching, etc. Movement tends to improve your cardiovascular health, flexibility, strengthens muscles and improves mental health.
Engage in good conversation.
Spending time with good friends, even online or on the phone, and engaging in stimulating conversation with a neighbor is good for your mind and body. When we share our thoughts with others, we establish an emotional and mental connection that can be refreshing and heartwarming.
Get enough sleep.
Good sleep hygiene involves cutting down on your caffeine intake, turning off electronics two hours before bedtime, eating your last meal two or more hours before you turn in for the night, going to bed early enough to get 6-8 hours of sleep, darkening the room you sleep in, and so on.
Be proactive with your medical needs and stay current. Many advocate an annual mental health screening, which may be part of the annual physical at some point.
Treat yourself regularly. Take time to do something for yourself that does not include productivity or a task. Watch a movie, eat dinner at a restaurant, sit in the park, get a massage, buy yourself flowers – whatever you enjoy – do that for yourself.
This content is for education purposes only. It cannot replace professional services or a client-therapist relationship. Consult with your health provider before engaging in any physical activity.
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