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Self-Care Tips for the Family Caregiver

November 09, 2020

by Heather Resnick, Caregiver Specialist 

In recognition of National Family Caregiver Month, North Shore Senior Center wants to recognize and thank family caregivers for all they do to enhance quality of life for our seniors. Practicing self-care is always important for family caregivers, and during the pandemic it is even more crucial to make time for yourself.

Here are 19 tips to help caregivers stay sane during the pandemic:

  • Do what you enjoy—build time in your schedule to do something that makes you happy
  • Find Humor—laughter is the best medicine, so look for the funny moments in life
  • Count your blessings—even in the worst of times, there is something for which to be thankful
  • Limit media—too much news can cause anxiety and worry; it is Ok to take a “news break”
  • Stay connected—maintain relationships with family, friends and community in any way you can
  • Get outside—Being outdoors in nature, even for a few minutes, can enhance mood and lower stress
  • Keep moving—if you cannot get out, create an indoor exercise plan
  • Ask for help when needed—people are often happy to help but they cannot read your mind
  • Practice mindfulness—this can include meditation, prayer or simply being present in the moment
  • Lower expectations—It is Ok to let things go from time to time
  • Help others—doing something for someone else boosts endorphins and the immune system
  • Get creative—painting, making music or journaling can provide a good outlet 
  • Set a routine—this will help structure the day and help your loved one know what to expect
  • Eat good food & get plenty of rest—maintaining your own health is crucial for caregivers
  • Remember to breathe—a few deep breaths can calm the mind and body
  • Focus on the positive—cultivating an attitude of optimism can help your outlook
  • Think outside of the box—consider alternatives to in-person visits like Zoom, Skype, Facetime or telehealth
  • Give yourself credit—remember, you are doing the best you can
  • Watch for signs of burnout—consult your doctor if you feel overwhelmed or depressed

Please visit our Family Caregiver Support page for more information and resources.