Self-Care for Caregivers

POSTED: May 26, 2017 under Blog

At RCSJ, our staff and volunteers are always looking for ways to assist our members. That is, of course, our mission. But we also have to constantly remind each other to take care of ourselves. This post, from our Assistant Café Manager, Tanya Bautista, has some practical advice on self-care for the caregivers.

Are you taking care of yourself? Throughout our lives we are constantly managing stress. Life can be challenging and that is when self-care comes in. Taking care of ourselves is very important because it allows us to find compassion, self-love, healing, growth, and freedom. Here are a few ways one can actively participate in self-care.

One way people participate in self-care is by creating a gratitude list and expressing their gratitude for life before starting the day. By doing this, it allows us to express positive thoughts to see what we have and continue to build on it. A gratitude list is also a practice that helps us celebrate little victories. For example, working out twice this week or cooking a healthy dinner. It is never too late to start a list and turn it into a habit!

Self-care can be done by going outside. Getting involved in fitness can become a regular routine such as walking, jogging, or even running. Other activities such as gardening, hiking, yoga and sports can be other ways of getting exercise.

Eating healthy and getting physical activity is a great balance towards self-care. Eating healthy might involve eating more grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meats and beans. This can be accomplished by eating the right amounts from each food group.

Time management is key! By prioritizing, scheduling, and setting tangible goals it can help with reducing the levels of stress one might be facing. One technique is to create a to-do list in order to organize what is essential for the week. Another technique would be to create a schedule within a calendar or planner. Look at the time you have available, tasks that must be completed, and make sure to schedule some leisure time. Lastly goal setting can help by establishing what you want to achieve. Try to set a specific goal, time frame, and write the goals down.

Mindfulness can help one focus on the “here and now” or the present experience. Mindfulness can be practiced in a meditation form. Some ways that people practice mindfulness is by doing mindful breathing, focusing on concentration, or by releasing any tension. Mindfulness can enhance one’s focus and awareness. It allows the distractions and past to be elsewhere while focusing on the present moment. Put your attention into the present moment and allow yourself to be at peace.

A social way of performing self-care would be to find support. Support can be reached through our peers, friends, or family. Having social interactions are important to have in our lives. Being able to talk with someone can play a major role in our self-care even if it’s just to vent. By talking with someone it allows us to express our emotions or experiences with someone in order for us to self -reflect.

Lastly, even though this last technique might seem simple it is important to love yourself. Words of affirmation or even acknowledgements help us remember to love ourselves and remind us of our worthiness. And just remember that it’s not selfish to do what is best for you!