A Healthier 2014 for Caregivers: 7 Resolutions to Make
As we head in to 2014, it is a great time for caregivers to take stock of their own personal health and well-being. We’ve talked about caregiver health in previous blog articles, and the demands of caregiving can contribute to everything from high blood pressure to heart disease, diabetes, back injuries and obesity.
How can caregivers resolve to get healthier in 2014? Here are 7 ways you can get started:
- Ask for help. Most caregivers have a hard time doing this. But if the caregiver gets sick, it will cause bigger problems for everyone. Consider using respite services a day or two a month or asking friends or other family members for assistance with errands and daily chores.
- Eat a balanced diet. Nutrition plays a key role in staying healthy. Make sure you are getting enough fruits, vegetables and water each day. Leafy greens offer not only heart health benefits but the added advantage of boosting your mood.
- Take a hike. Research has proven over and over that even moderate forms of exercise performed most days of the week can make a difference. Take a walk around your neighborhood or make a few laps through one of the big box stores if the weather is bad. It will be good for you and for the loved one you care for.
- Connect with friends. Try to find time to go out with friends and loved ones at least once or twice a month. Laughter is good mental health medicine.
- Have an annual check-up and wellness screenings. When your “To Do” list is overflowing it might be tempting to put these off. But disease prevention and early intervention are both important to staying healthy.
- Join an online support group. An online caregiver community can help you reap the benefits of connecting with a peer who understands your struggles without having to worry about how to find time to attend a meeting.
- Crank up the radio. Music helps reduce anxiety and stress. So turn up the volume on the radio and dance around your living room a little bit every day. Music’s therapeutic benefits will help you and your loved one!
Are you a caregiver? What are your 2014 resolutions for staying healthy?