Staying Healthy: Self-Care Tips for New Parkinson’s Caregivers
It’s easy to get overwhelmed as a new Parkinson’s caregiver. You want to take care of your loved one who’s been diagnosed with the disease, but you can’t neglect your own needs. Staying healthy isn’t always easy when you’re taking on multiple new responsibilities at once, but there are some things you can do to make the process a little easier, including creating a home filled with positivity. Below, Immunize Los Angeles shares a few ideas below.
Take Time Off for Yourself
It’s essential to take time away from your responsibilities for yourself. Whether it’s a daily walk at your favorite park or a weekly lunch date with your best friend, you need downtime where your focus isn’t on a list of daily tasks. Consider taking up a new hobby.
Whether it’s reading, knitting, or drawing, pursuing a new activity can help give you perspective. Finding ways to relax isn’t selfish—it’s necessary. It’s also important to remember that though it may seem like your loved one is the only person in need of care, you need just as much care.
The mind and body are intrinsically linked. You need to take care of both just as much as you take care of your loved one’s medical needs. Take time to exercise regularly. Getting active will help you sleep better, improve your mood, and clear your mind.
Exercise doesn’t have to be onerous. Many people find that working out with a friend makes it more fun, and you can spend time chatting while getting fit. Additionally, this provides two benefits in one. You’re spending time with friends and working on your needs, too. You can also find small ways to integrate more physical activity in your daily life. Choose to park a little farther from stores and take the stairs whenever possible. If you live or work in an area with a high walk score, take advantage by walking to shops and restaurants instead of driving. These changes can make a big difference in how you feel.
Paid Services to Improve Time Management
Look for ways to make sure you don’t end up taking care of everyone all the time. Whether you hire a house cleaner or a landscaping company, you can spend a little money to save time for yourself. Standard lawn care services, such as mowing and weeding, can cost you between $50 – $220 per month (depending on the services you want) and save you a few hours of work per week. If you have a large property or need other tasks, such as mulching, fertilizer, and pruning, the price will increase; however, this simple step can save a ton of time each week.
Stay on Top of Your Health
Caregivers often focus so much on other people that they lose track of their own health. Don’t let that happen to you. Make and keep regular appointments with your medical provider and follow up on any new health-related developments. If you don’t have health insurance, look into programs your state developed as a result of the Affordable Care Act. You may find that they make healthcare far more accessible to you.
If you need to update any of your immunizations, schedule an appointment with Immunize Los Angeles.
Set a Date Night With Your Significant Other
Managing your relationship with your significant other is just as important as maintaining your caregiving duties. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it should feel special. Go out for coffee or a walk together. You’ll both enjoy the company, and it’ll give you a chance to reconnect.
Relax With Music
There are few things more relaxing than listening to your favorite songs and letting all your problems melt away. Additionally, there’s clinical evidence that music therapy is effective for promoting wellness and managing stress. Many people find the effects of music more powerful than those of meditation or yoga. Also, consider mixing music with other activities, such as working out, hanging out with friends, or dancing with your significant other.
Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy
Your loved one would want you to take care of yourself, so don’t let stress associated with guilt interfere with what’s essential for everyone. Create and carry through on stress management techniques that will help you cope with and mitigate any undue or excessive stressors in your life. These can include controlled breathing and stopping your stress “thought trains.” Regardless of your loved one’s situation, you need to consider your needs, too.