Taking care of yourself while you’re a caregiver is just as important as caring for your aging adult. If you don’t know what your self-care goals are, this exercise can help you to figure them out.
Look at What’s Going Right.
Take a few minutes and think about what is working well for you right now. If you’re getting enough decent sleep, that’s something to note. Likewise if you’re eating right and getting enough exercise. Even if you’re not completely hitting the mark you’d like to hit, keep your list positive.
Look at What You Need More Of.
Now that you know what’s going right, you’ve got two more steps. The first is to jot down what you’d like to be doing more of. For example, perhaps you’re sleeping okay, but you’d like to get better sleep more often. Jot that down. Afterward, it’s time to look at what you’re not getting at all, because that needs to change. For example, you might not be getting any time to yourself at all. Write that down.
Determine What You Need to Bridge That Gap.
Now you’ve got a more complete picture. What is it that you need to do in order to get more of what you need and want as a caregiver? Perhaps you need to go to bed just a little bit earlier each night. Figure out how to do that so you can make it happen. Other solutions might be a little more complicated.
Ask for Help.
It’s almost a given that you don’t have enough help right now and that’s part of what is keeping you from meeting your self-care goals as a caregiver. Look at who you can ask for help, whether that’s other family members, neighbors, or even friends. If those people can’t help you or can’t help you very much, it might be time to hire elderly care providers.
Once You Know Your Goals, Stick with the Plan.
After you’ve gotten this all down on paper, it’s easier to see what your self-care goals are. Make a plan for addressing those goals and then stick to the plan. If you don’t, then you’re going to find it impossible to achieve even the simplest of your self-care goals.
Write down your goals in a notebook or a journal that you can access often. This allows you to stay in touch with how you’re doing on your path to taking better care of yourself.