Self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Family caregivers are also most likely to bypass it. They focus so much of their energy and time helping others that they put their own needs last.
It’s time to shift your focus to your well-being. What specifically should you be doing to take care of yourself?
Choose Nutrition Over Comfort Foods
Comfort foods may appeal to your emotions, but they’re often high fat, high sugar choices. That will drag you down. Instead, aim for foods that give your body the energy, vitamins, and minerals it needs.
Ideally, your meals should include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and dairy. You want to get enough B vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, omega 3s, and vitamin D.
Doctors often recommend the Mediterranean diet. It covers these needs by focusing on legumes, whole grains, fish, vegetables, and heart-healthy oils like olive oil.
When plating a meal, it should be 50% vegetables and fruits, 25% whole grains, and 25% lean proteins. Try to incorporate a few vegetarian meals each week.
Get Enough Exercise
Aim for half an hour of exercise each day. When you decide what to do, try to find a blend of activities each day. You can walk every other day and fit Yoga, Tai Chi, weight lifting, or swimming into the other days.
Find new ways to stay excited to work out. If you’ve never tried Zumba, give it a chance and see if it appeals to you. If you like to walk, consider buying a treadmill so that you can keep walking on rainy or snowy days. Try HIIT, kickboxing, or other exercise programs that you’ve never experienced.
Keep socializing with your friends. While you may not see that it’s possible due to your busy schedule, keeping up your friendships is essential. Join friends for paint and sips, fitness classes, dinners out, or long walks.
If your parent has a chronic health condition like Alzheimer’s or cancer, join a support group. You’ll want to talk to others who share your experience. If you have others to vent to, it helps you handle stress.
Research home care assistance services. Specifically, look into respite care services. You’ll appreciate having professional caregivers to help out.
While you take a walk, go out with friends, or enjoy a week away, home care assistance providers spend time with your parents. They’re supported while you get to take care of yourself. Call an agency to learn more.