Caring for an elderly parent can take a lot out of you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
As a caregiver, you may be more concerned with your parent’s health and well-being than you are of your own. It’s very easy to overlook your health because of the responsibilities you have, whether you’re handling their finances, taking them to appointments, or assisting with their daily personal care. And all of this is on top of everything you do to manage your own household: keeping the house clean, doing laundry, paying bills, and so on.
Please understand that it’s important for you to stay healthy. After all, if you get sick then who is going to get everything done? Below are some tips that you need to follow to ensure your good health.
Tip #1 – Eat
Obviously, you don’t have a lot of time to eat, but this is essential to staying healthy. Most of us know that we need to eat three meals a day, but do you also know that you should be eating at least two snacks a day as well? This will keep your metabolism going and your energy levels up – so don’t skimp on your food. You should be eating healthy foods too. Things like yogurt, fruit, granola bars and nuts are quick, easy and healthy!
Tip #2 – Drink
Water that is. In addition to eating healthy foods, you need to be drinking water throughout your day. We’ve all heard the “8 glasses a day” speech so I’m not going to give it to you again. Just stay properly hydrated. It will keep your energy levels up as well as flush the impurities out of your body and ward off urinary tract infections and much more.
Tip #3 – Exercise
Your body needs exercise each day and it doesn’t care whether you’re a caregiver or not. Although you may find yourself busy during the day and exhausted at night, it’s important that you squeeze in at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. There are several ways you can do this. For instance, you can go for a walk after dinner, play Xbox Kinect or Nintendo Wii games with your family, or enroll in a yoga class at a fitness club.
Tip #4 – Be Happy
We women tend to overload ourselves with work, family and worries. There isn’t much time to focus on being happy. However, this is important too. Studies have shown that, generally, happy people are healthier people. In order to become happier, consider setting aside a little time for yourself every day – or week – to do something you like doing. This time will help you feel refreshed and become happier.
Tip #5 – Sleep
Getting a good night of sleep is critical to your overall health. Sleep is when your body recharges itself. So, naturally, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t operating on a “full battery,” which means you’ll wear out quicker. It also means your body will too, which depletes your immune system. So, get the sleep you need at night.
Tip #6 – Get Help
There’s no rule that says you have to do it all yourself! If caring for your aging parent is affecting your health, email us or call 905-971-9568 to find out how we can help.
Photo © Joann Cooper – PhotoXpress.com