Managing care for your loved one can be stressful under regular circumstances. It’s understandable that the spread of COVID-19 has only heightened existing stress. Taking care of yourself, and working with your caregiver to facilitate care, is important in helping maintain social connections and an overall sense of well-being. We’re sharing some ways you can take care of yourself so you can help take care of your loved ones.
Healthy Ways You Can Reduce Stress:
- Care for your body - Do you find yourself putting yourself last when you’re managing care for a loved one? Caring for your body by eating healthy, balanced meals while limiting alcohol and/or tobacco are ways that you can keep yourself feeling your best physically. If you’re having trouble finding time to prepare and cook healthy meals, adding meal preparation as a task for your family’s caregiver can be a way to save some time, reduce stress around planning meals, and help you eat healthier.
- Build a strong support system - It’s easy to feel disconnected from your normal support system while social distancing, especially when caring for others. Communicate your needs to your caregiver. Your family’s caregiver is likely experiencing similar emotions and communicating feelings of isolation or stress can help you build a stronger relationship.
- Connect via technology - Using technology to interact is shown to reduce feelings of social isolation in seniors and can relieve feelings of worry and stress for their families. If you don’t live in the same home as your loved one receiving care, encourage his or her caregiver to show them new ways to connect like using video calling systems (such as Skype or FaceTime). If your loved one is not able to manage using these applications on their own, work with his or her caregiver to facilitate virtual “face-to-face” chats so you are able to interact in a more visual way.
- Take time to relax - With many normal summer activities put on hold, it’s a great time to explore new hobbies you can safely enjoy at home or outside. Want to get outside? Gardening, going for walks in open spaces, and visiting your local parks are all great ways to do something for yourself and unwind. If you’re staying in, you can start a new book or explore your artistic side by drawing or painting.