Caregiving can be as stressful as it is rewarding, but taking care of yourself is just as important! While Caring Home Care offers round-the-clock respite care as well as personal homemaker and live-in aide assistance, here are a few tips you could do to become a healthier you; and, to promote the health and happiness of your loved ones and those you care for:
Eat Smart for a Healthier You
Benefits of eating healthy for older adults include resistance to illness and disease, faster recuperation times and many others. Make sure you’re providing healthy meals for both you and your loved one, and you’ll both feel healthier and more active! Be sure to include foods high in antioxidants because they protect all of your cells, including brain cells. Foods highest in antioxidant content include the following:
Just as the right diet can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer, health experts are finding that certain foods may help keep your mind sharp as well. Top mind-boosting foods include salmon, spinach and extra virgin olive oil. These foods play a positive role in overall mental health, so be sure to make them a part of both of your daily regimes.
Figuring out meals involving all these healthy foods doesn’t have to be a hassle. Check out our Pinterest Care-ful Cooking board for simple recipes you can make every night. We are constantly updating our boards! Or, if you need help with menu planning a few nights a week, let Caring Home Care help!
Eating healthy is not the only way you can care for yourself and your loved ones. Regular exercise keeps the mind active while increasing blood flow to the brain, which also protects against dementia related diseases. Exercising regularly may not be as easy as it sounds, but even deciding to skip the elevator for the stairs on a daily basis will help.
Another great way to motivate yourself to exercise regularly is to do it with a partner – your loved one, your best friend, or your significant other. Whether it be an exciting Zumba or a relaxing yoga class, find an exercise routine you can do together!
…brain games, that is. Caregiving can be very stressful at times and take a large, mental toll on you and your loved ones. Partake in fun, daily brain exercises to keep your minds active and alert. Regular use of the brain has been shown to generate new growth, and even halt the decline of mental function that often comes with age. Numerous websites offer fast, fun brain games that will train your brain and boost its’ daily activity. Check out these websites for some effective, enjoyable games to feed your brain and enhance creativity:
Change Your Environment
Although it is important to provide stability and consistency for your loved ones, it is just as important to change their environment, as well. Walk more places together instead of driving and use a different route. Exploring your community is another great way to change environments: eat at restaurants you always passed by but never decided to go. Changing the environment helps you explore new things together and create lasting memories.
Creating new habits helps you get out of feeling like you are stuck in the same routine. By exercising regularly or changing your eating habits, your brain is forced to stay active and is constantly energized with new information, making you better fit to care for your loved ones. Try to learn new things together. It introduces your minds to new concepts and new ways of looking at things. It can also be done with little time investment such as listening to a book-on-tape while driving. Learning is yet another way to exercise your brain and is great to do with the ones you cherish most.
Make sure to always stop and take a breath. Caregiving, although a joy, can be stressful; especially if it’s just one of the many things you do every day. Several deep breaths can help with relaxation, which helps you think clearly. Do not let stress pile up and get in your way of enjoying those deep breaths. Take two minutes out of your busy day to close your eyes, pay attention to only your breath and say “omm.” Meditation, even if for only a minute, helps fight against cortisol, which is the chronic stress that floods your brain.
Most importantly: do something you enjoy. This is a way to both lower stress and allow you to do something together. Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the life you have now and the time spent with the ones you cherish most. Prevent every day stresses by staying active, eating healthy and simply breathing with easy, attainable and fun at home goals and habits. Feed everyone in your family a healthy, active diet.
Caring Home Care knows that caring for your loved ones is a full-time, round-the-clock job, so be sure to keep a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle! If, however, you are in need of some assistance, we offer plenty of services to make caring for your loved ones even easier and help you focus on the quality of life!