Caregiver Check-in: Your Well-Being Matters Too!
As we enter the season of being "thankful", we'd be remiss to not acknowledge that November is Caregiver Awareness Month! Having come from a long line of caregivers, I know how important this job is. It can be extremely rewarding, but equally taxing. So, I wanted to take this time to check in on you.
We've put together a few self-reflection polls for you. My intention is to help you take a second out of your day to reflect on how YOU are doing. There are no right or wrong answers, just reflection and maybe making room for a little extra self TLC.
Caregiver check-in, how are you doing?
Take a second to maybe place your hand over your heart, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Ask yourself. How are you feeling? As a whole, how are you doing?
How are you doing?
What part of you needs extra attention?
So, now that we know how we're doing, let's take a second to reflect on what do we need more or less of in life right now? No need to run and jot down your "to-do list" but instead maybe take a mental note on some basic needs you have.
What are some areas that need extra attention? (Check all that apply)
You deserve to be supported too
As a caregiver, it's easy for your world to be centered on the people/person you are caring for. I'm here to remind you that you and your well-being should also be a priority. You deserve to have a support system, whether it be a spouse, friends, family, church group, or paid help (ie. therapist, counselor).
Do you seek support when you need it?
To self-care or not to self-care
Self-care is an activity you engage in when you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed. When done regularly it can help us cope with daily stressors, boost our mood, help increase our overall mental, physical and emotional well-being.
Do you have a set self-care activity or routine?
Caregiver self-care toolkit
It's important to note different stressors require different self-care techniques, this is why a self-care toolkit is key. A tool kit is a list of your self-care activities to your needs whenever you feel overwhelmed and need a break.
Coping with stressors looks different for everyone. So, when crafting your toolkit keep in mind activities that could or have helped when you've felt anxious, overwhelmed, unwell, depressed, or unfocused. Having options is important because what may work one day for one stressor may not work the next. You deserve to have options.
What does your self-care toolkit consist of? (Choose all that apply)
Recognize that caregiver burnout is real
A lot of times people experience "caregiver burnout" without realizing it. Or worse, they don't recognize they are burnt out until they are totally depleted and depressed. While burnout looks different for everyone it is important to know the signs of work-induced stress or depression. It is then equally important to seek help when you can.
Have you ever experienced caregiver burnout?
Celebrating a hero
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Take a moment to also thank yourself for taking the time to check in on your health. But most importantly, thank you for all the work you do. Being a caregiver isn't easy, especially in our community. You're a hero in our eyes.
Tell us in the comments below or in our forums: what do you wish the world knew about caregivers?
Did this article help you?
How long did you wait before telling others about your diagnosis?