One of the things that might frustrate you as a caregiver is that your time might no longer really feel as if it’s your own. You’re going to have to assert yourself, even to yourself, in order to get the time for yourself that you need.
Make a List of What You Love Doing
One of the first things you might want to do is to make a list of what you love doing when you can focus on yourself. What makes you happy and lights you up? For some people that’s reading, for others it might be crafting or exercising. Whatever it is, that’s what you need to be doing more often.
How Much Time Do You Spend Traveling?
Do you spend a lot of time in your car, going from one place to another? Often caregivers still need to work full-time, and that can mean making a commute every day. That time spent in the car might be time where you can practice deep breathing or you can make phone calls to people you want to touch base with. Or you can use that time to listen to podcasts that make you happy. Rethink how you spend that time.
Practice Deep Breathing or Meditation
Meditation and deep breathing are ways that you can deal with stress. Some people, however, find breathing and meditation to be stressful themselves. If that’s the case for you, look for easy ways to practice one or both and remove the rules. Set aside some time at the end of your day to try the stripped-down techniques for either of these practices and give them a try for five minutes.
Try Adding Mini Workouts to Your Day
Are you exercising? The average caregiver doesn’t feel as if they have the time to exercise at all. One way around this is to rethink what it means to exercise. If you can add mini workouts into your day, like stretching for two minutes after you wake up, you might find that you can work quite a bit more exercise into your day than you thought possible.
Make Time for You an Appointment
Something else to consider is making time for yourself an actual appointment with yourself. Some caregivers find that it’s a lot easier to stick to something when it’s an official event, like an appointment. Try this out for yourself and see how it works for you.
When you decide to make more time for yourself, that’s a great first step. But you’ve got to keep at it. One or two times of doing something just for yourself isn’t going to give you the full results you want.