5 Healthy Caregiver Resolutions for 2019

January 8, 2019

5 Healthy Caregiver Resolutions for 2019

Caregivers often neglect their well-being when caring for a loved one. Use these 5 healthy caregiver resolutions to make 2019 a healthier, better balanced year.

The beginning of a new year offers each of us a time to start over and set goals for living a healthier life. If you are a caregiver, the stress of juggling multiple responsibilities may be taking its toll. It’s no secret that caregiving can be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting.

As we head into 2019, we thought it would be helpful to share a few warning signs of caregiver burnout along with some preventative strategies.

The Toll of Caregiving for a Senior Loved One

Gallup Industries polled caregivers and found that the health-related problems caregivers cited most often included:

  • chronic pain
  • knee, back, and leg problems
  • high blood pressure
  • unintended weight gain
  • neck and back aches
  • migraines and headaches
  • general fatigue

If you are a caregiver experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to make your own health a priority.

5 Healthy Caregiver Resolutions to Make in 2019

  1. Examine your diet: Because the role of caregiver is such a busy one, caregivers often turn to convenience foods or fast foods at meal time. One of the best ways to improve your health in the new year is to improve your diet. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “My Plate” program has helpful resources and tips if you aren’t sure where and how to begin.
  2. Start an exercise program: Another resolution to make in 2019 is to exercise 30 minutes each day. For weary caregivers, this might seem unrealistic. Research shows, however, that exercising in small increments can yield the same results as 30 continuous minutes of exercise. Setting a goal to exercise 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening may be more achievable.
  3. Schedule a physical: Caregivers often neglect their yearly physical and wellness screenings. Commit to scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician in January. They can evaluate your health status and help schedule routine screenings that might be due.
  4. Explore alternative therapies: Stress is a common part of a caregiver’s day. Set a goal to learn a few stress-management techniques in the new year. A few to consider are gardening, music, art, yoga, meditation, journaling, and Pilates.
  5. Laugh more: Caregivers can get so wrapped up in their role that they neglect caring for their spirit. Resolve to laugh more in 2019. Laughter helps lower blood pressure and prevent depression while also giving the spirit a boost. Whether it is a phone call with a funny friend, watching a television comedy, or enjoying a local improv theater, remind yourself that laughter is the best medicine.

Respite Care at Legacy Senior Living

A necessary part of taking care of a loved one is learning how important it is to take regular breaks. Maintaining your well-being will allow you the strength and fortitude you need to be a good caregiver.

Legacy Senior Living communities make that easier to do. Our respite services allow family caregivers to take a break knowing their loved one is safe and well cared for. Call us at (423) 478-8071 to learn more.