Whether it is your job or something you do out of love, being a caregiver can be highly rewarding. However, if you are not careful, it can also take a real toll on you. Caregivers tend to be people who excel at self-sacrifice in order to help others, but they sometimes do it at the expense of their own physical and mental health. That is a real problem because how can you look after someone else if you are not properly looking after yourself?
Here are some key things to remember if you are a caregiver:
learn new skills
Being a caregiver is in some ways a job like any other: you learn as you go and get better at it as time passes. Reach out to doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who can provide you with tips on how to learn the new skills that will make life easier for both you and the person you are looking after.
make sure you have some time off
This may sound like the most obvious, but it also is the most important. Be sure to make arrangements so that you get enough respite time per month in order to be able to keep on top of your duties and maintain emotional balance. It is also a good idea to use this time to do something that will take your mind completely away from your caregiving duties.
Get support if you need it
Some people regard seeking support as a sign of weakness, but it is really a sign of strength. It means that you are cognizant of your needs as a caregiver and are taking steps to ensure that you can continue at the same level. Support can be in the form of therapy, caregiver support groups, or even just friends who will have your back when you need them. Never be afraid to reach out.