Being a caregiver doesn’t mean you don’t have feelings. It also doesn’t mean you can’t be tired emotionally, mentally, and physically. You are not a machine that can work, take care of your loved one, and be there for other family members 24/7.
Don’t try to live up to others’ expectations while neglecting yourself. Think about your health first. You do no one any good if you stop taking care of your own needs.
Taking a break is completely reasonable. Don’t feel guilty because you want to go somewhere and relax your mind from your daily responsibilities. Everyone needs time to recharge, caregivers especially.
Stress – Caregiver’s Enemy #1
We all have our responsibilities. We go to work, watch the kids, cook, do chores… On top of that, you also take care of your senior and often have no free time to relax and do activities you like. Moreover, some caregivers even feel guilty when doing something they enjoy.
Accumulating stress has a negative impact on health. Over time, you easily drift off when talking to others, your blood pressure rises, and you can start having other cardiovascular problems. The list is quite long.
Stress is not a friend, thus it is essential to prevent it before it is too late.
Why You Need a Break
If you don’t take proper care of yourself, your own health will suffer. This means you won’t be able to run daily errands and be there for your senior.
Put it this way: by taking care of yourself, you actually take care of your loved one, friends, and family. There is a great book called “One Minute for Yourself” by Spencer Johnson M.D. In the book, he explains the importance of doing what you like to do. Even if you are occupied with tasks the whole day, don’t say you can’t find a few minutes to do what you really enjoy.
You shouldn’t feel guilty if you want to dedicate some time solely to yourself. Recharging batteries is vital for your health and mood.
Feel free to take a whole weekend off and visit another city or a mountain nearby. Go to a spa or wellness center if you need to completely relax your body and brain. Plan a summer holiday without the feeling of guilt dragging you down. Go to the seaside for at least ten days, and don’t think about the problems at home.
With respite care, you learn that taking a break is significant. It is completely normal to dedicate your time to the other aspects of life. It is fine to continue to live normally and have dreams.
How to Go on a Vacation When Your Loved One Needs You
You may wonder: Yeah, this is all great, but who will step in when I’m away?
First, you can see if other members of your immediate and extended family are willing to substitute in for you for several days. If no one is interested, contact a nearby homecare agency and ask for a caregiver. It is as simple as that. They are aware that families need a break, and all of them have respite care as an option. A professional caregiver will be there while you are away, so there is nothing to be worried about.
Read how to prepare seniors for respite care here.
Taking a break is essential for everyone’s well-being. Take care of yourself and go on holiday without feeling guilty.
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