As writer Raphalia Michael wrote, “if I don’t take enough care of myself, I won’t be in the place to give to my loved ones either.”
Finding time to care for yourself in a career that requires caring for others can be surprisingly challenging. While many caregivers are aware of the high levels of stress associated with caregiving and the value of self-care in coping with it, they often engage in self-neglect for fear of being viewed as selfish.
However, taking care of yourself and considering your own needs is not selfish. By caring for your own well-being, you allow time to check in with yourself and see what you need to do to continue giving the best care possible for the people under your supervision. Not only that, but you deserve a break to make sure you are doing okay and to see what you could do to improve.
Caregivers are not the only ones who experience self-neglect. Isolated residents in senior living communities may also disregard their personal care. Caregivers may provide medical and physical aid, but only the resident can keep up with their mental well-being. Some seniors may find it difficult to hold themselves accountable and commit to self-care routines, but it is important to try to make it a habit.
While being a caregiver and resident may seem to be entirely different roles, the value of self-care is universal. It consists of physical, mental, and emotional wellness, all of which are essential for overall quality well-being. Here are a few tips to start your self-care journey:
Keep up with the basics. The most common self-care tips are the most effective. Maintain a balanced and healthy diet, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
Set yourself up for success. Start by giving yourself small, easy tasks to complete and work yourself up to build confidence.
Set aside some time for yourself. Take at least 30 minutes every day to do something you want to do. Whether that be taking a walk, doing a quick painting, gardening, or spending time with family or friends, try to find a way to recharge that you enjoy.
Develop self-compassion. Allow yourself to make mistakes and recognize that you are not alone. Change the narrative in your internal dialogue. For example, change “I didn’t do enough” to “I did everything I could with the situation I was given.”
Set boundaries. Do not be afraid to say “no” if you cannot handle something. On the other hand, do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Continue with these practices, and eventually, they will become second nature to you. Remember: Self-care should not be something you have to force yourself to do. If you find yourself dreading doing something you have designated as your “self-care time,” let it go and find something else you genuinely enjoy.
Wellzesta is centered around the eight dimensions of wellness, including the physical, mental, and emotional wellness that is essential for proper self-care. Although all of Wellzesta's platforms encourage well-being and self-care, Elevate and Life are designed specifically for employees and residents.
Wellzesta’s Elevate software focuses on staff well-being and gives staff / teams opportunities to better themselves. Elevate allows staff to set wellness goals and receive rewards, as well as provides daily wellness content that empowers caregivers to check in on themselves.
Elevate also streamlines communication and sends targeted announcements to reduce operational inefficiencies and decrease stress among caregivers.
Life connects residents and combats social isolation by simplifying communication and encouraging socialization between residents, while also giving them the tools to achieve it. Wellzesta Life also helps residents take care of themselves through a wellness points system and a personalized wellness coach.
To learn more about what Wellzesta can do for you, visit our website or connect with a member of our Sales team.