Three New Year’s Goals to Improve Caregiver Well-Being

This year, take care of yourself, too. It’s natural for caregivers to put themselves last, but this habit is harmful to health – the consequences of unchecked caregiver stress are serious. Statistics show that it can cause serious chronic illness and higher rates of early death. The ongoing stress can also negatively affect mood and relationships. Here are three goals you can easily implement this year:

1. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Put together a caregiving team of family, friends, and/or local resources for yourself. These people can help you when you are in a bind. Accept help when they offer.

2. Take Time for Yourself Every Day
Engage in a two-minute meditation, breathing exercise, or calming exercise. You can also improve circulation with a quick workout, even five minutes a day. It’s ok to escape reality with a great book, magazine, or audiobook. Or connect with friends with daily phone calls, video chats, coffee, or a meal.

3. Schedule Regular Breaks
It’s ok to take micro breaks throughout the day – it’s an effective way to reduce stress when you’re short on time.
These goals and suggestions are meant to inspire creative thinking to help you find solutions that will give you time for self-care. As the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” The more your own needs are met, the better caregiver you can be.