By Sona Mehring
Most people will have some experience with caregiving – either by providing care for a loved one or by needing it. It can be easy to overlook those who put aside their needs to take care of their loved ones because they tend to overlook themselves. Many caregivers give so much to the people they care for that they ignore their own needs and experience physical and emotional burnout.
It is important for caregivers to have some “me” time. Staying healthy is just as important as keeping your loved one healthy.
A critical way to maintain your health, stamina, and strength is good nutrition. Darlene Kvist is owner of Nutritional Weight & Wellness and has more than 25 years of experience as an educator, counselor and psycho-nutritional consultant. Her article, “Nutrition: The Foundation of Self-Care for Caregivers”, provides an excellent overview of the importance of eating well, how the food you eat affects your mood, and how good nutrition protects you from future health problems.
The National Family Caregivers Association also provides a number of resources to educate, support, and empower the more than 65 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability.
If you have a caregiver in your life, I urge you to remind them to take time for themselves. They may even need to be forced because they simply aren’t thinking about themselves. But they’ll come back feeling refreshed and renewed.
Do you have any tips for caregivers and how they can make sure they are also caring for themselves? Share them in the comments below.
Sona Mehring is the founder and CEO of CaringBridge, a nonprofit bringing people together during a health event. CaringBridge is a social network where you can connect, share and receive support during a health journey. Follow Sona on Twitter – @gogosona.