With the increasing need for elderly care, care assistants bare an enormous amount of stress. As a carer this advice may seem impossible to fully adopt. However, if you don’t take care of yourself, sooner or later you may experience the symptoms of burnout. That will make care giving difficult and will remove you from the one thing you have committed yourself to - helping and changing the lives of individuals.
1. Eat well: Good nutrition is your friend. Healthy, fresh foods will keep your energy high and your mind clear. A bit of chocolate here and there can be a good idea too, but for the most part you should avoid high fat, fried and processed foods. They may seem like a good idea but in the long run they will make you lethargic.
2. Sleep well: Slicing time off your sleep schedule to get things done is actually an exercise in diminishing returns. The less you sleep the less you will get done. Sleep benefits your health, allowing your brain and body to refresh and renew itself. Sleep well and you are more apt to work at maximum productivity during the day.
3. Exercise is crucial to a healthy mind and body. Depending on your preference and time constraints, a short workout with sudden bursts of high intensity, followed by periods of low intensity, can help alleviate stress. However, simple exercises such as working in your garden or walking your dog can staunch the feelings of stress and burnout as well.
4. Stay in touch with friends: There is nothing like good friends. You can commiserate with them, laugh with them and lean on them for support. Stay in close touch with your friends and remember that they want to help.
5. Acknowledge your feelings: There are good days and bad days as a caregiver. When you are tired you may feel resentful. These feelings are natural. Acknowledge them, process them and then move on. Burying them in a corner of your mind will only increase your stress levels.
6. Schedule breaks: Take time for yourself. Carve out an hour for yourself, meet friends, go to a movie, take a yoga class, grab a coffee; do what you love. Care assistant stress is a real challenge that plagues the industry. As a community, we need to work together to prevent care.
At M Care NI we strive to deliver the very highest standards of nursing and medical care needs for individuals. Our team engage in this ethos by providing the most compassionate and emphatic care to make their journey fulfilling and enjoyable.