6 Healthy Resolutions for Caregivers to Make in 2020
The start of a new year is often a time when people make resolutions for living healthier. If you are the caregiver for a senior loved one, the stress of juggling all your roles may have taken a toll on your own health in 2019.
Caregiving can be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. It is important for adult children and family caregivers in Greater Seattle to know the warning signs of overload, such as:
- Pain most days of the week
- Recurring knee and leg problems
- High blood pressure
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Migraines and headaches
- Feeling tired
If more than one or two of these describe your current health status, it may be time to make a few positive changes in 2020. Doing so can protect your own health and help you provide better care for the older adult you love.
Six caregiver resolutions for 2020
These suggestions may help you start the new year off right:
1. Improve your diet:Caregivers often adopt a diet that consists of convenience or fast foods. One of the best resolutions you can make to improve your health this year is to improve your eating habits. There is growing evidence to support the health benefits of a Mediterranean style diet, which is high in vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and olive oil.
2. Exercise: For overwhelmed caregivers, scheduling time to work out for 30 minutes a day, five days a week can feel like unrealistic goal. The good news is that studies show how breaking exercise down in to two fifteen-minute workouts can yield the same results as thirty continuous minutes of exercise. Thinking of your exercise goal in those terms can make it seem more achievable.
3. Schedule a physical:If you are like many caregivers, you may have neglected your own yearly physical and routine wellness screenings. Make a resolution that in early 2020 you will schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. During this appointment, talk about what screenings and tests you need to get your own health back on track.
4. Keep a journal:Mental health professionals often recommend journaling as a way to help manage the guilt, stress, and frustrations caregiving often creates. This article from Daily Caring offers 5 ways to get started.
5. Laugh more:Whether it is a night out with friends or a half-hour spent watching your favorite sitcom, laughter helps beat stress. It helps lower blood pressure, improve heart rate and decrease the odds for depression.
6. Healing therapies.Yoga, chair yoga, meditation, and Pilates all help improve fitness and manage stress. Because each of these therapies focuses on better breathing techniques, they can help caregivers improve emotional and mental well-being.
We hope these suggestions give you a few ideas for finding balance in 2020!