From the Archives: Ideas for Simple Self-Care

| By Jodi Horton

If it feels like there just isn’t enough time in the day to care for your loved one(s) and for yourself, remember that even some brief, simple acts can relieve  stress and strengthen physical and emotional well-being. The stronger you are, the better a caregiver you can be.

  1. Eat healthy. salad

It’s one of the oldest tips in the book. Healthy eating keeps you more physically healthy and able to care for a loved one, and helps keep your energy level up. Think quick and easy-to-prepare meals such as wraps, salads, quesadillas, crockpot, and one-pot meals. Keep healthy snacks, such as pre-cut veggies with hummus, yogurt with fresh fruit, instant oatmeal, and more.

  1. Practice meditation.

Use meditation as a mental time-out. There’s no need to meditate for a long stretch of time, even five minutes of meditation can help you relax and relieve feelings of stress. For a little guidance on meditation, try some of these free guided ones, including a 5-minute breathing meditation, from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center.

  1. Get moving.

Physical activity benefits the body and mind. Just a few of the benefits include preventing bone loss, diabetes, heart disease, relieving depression and improving mood. As a family caregiver, you might not have the time to work out at a gym every day, but there are lots of tools to help you exercise at home. Pick an upbeat Pandora station and dance out your stress, or follow along with a video workout on YouTube. The LionsGate BeFit YouTube channel offers a huge variety of workout videos.

  1. Practice time management.

Don’t let yourself time get the best of you. Practice good time management skills to keep your stress levels down when life gets a little too crazy. Try an online calendar to share caregiving duties with other family members, and try and keep wake-up times, bedtimes, and mealtimes at the same time every day. Google offers shared calendar options, or for something more caregiving-specific, try Lotsa Helping Hands.

  1. Laugh it out.

Does anybody really mind a good laugh? I’m betting the answer is no. Laughter is good for the body and great for the mind. Keep funny comics attached to the fridge, taped to your bathroom mirror, or start your day with a couple funny YouTube videos. Funny animal videos get us every time.

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