When you first hear about taking time for yourself as a caregiver, you might have to fight off a bout of laughter. Time for you sounds great, but how is that going to happen? It can take some careful planning, but it’s definitely something you can do.
Schedule Time for Yourself.
What you schedule is more likely to get done. This is true for all sorts of things related to caregiving, but it’s especially true for your appointments with yourself. When you put time for yourself in your schedule first and as an appointment that is not negotiable, you ensure that you’re going to get what you need. If you wait to put time for you in after you’ve put everything else in your schedule, you’re consistently going to run out of time.
Figure out What You Can Decline.
When you say yes to something, you’re by default saying no to something else. For example, when you’re constantly doing things for other people, you’re not able to do as much for yourself. Odds are very good that what is happening is that you’re saying yes to things you really should be saying no to. Figure out what those things are for you and start saying no more often.
Take Time for Yourself Wherever You Can Find It.
This whole taking time for yourself thing is not easy to do. When you start out, you’re likely to need to start a little smaller. Start with five or ten minutes to yourself before anyone else in the household is awake. Use that time to read or to do something you love to do. Take advantage of times you have in between other activities or when your senior is busy with something else.
Delegate More than You Are Right Now.
Delegation can be difficult for family caregivers to learn. It’s easier than you think, but it still takes some practice. If you don’t have friends or family members who can help, don’t feel as if you’re completely on your own. Hiring senior care providers for a few hours each week can help you to shave so much off of your to do list. They know what family caregivers need most and they can give you a way to carve out far more time just for yourself.
There are so many factors that go into finding time for yourself as a caregiver. If you don’t have success right off the bat, don’t give up. You owe it to yourself and to your elderly family member to figure out how to make time for you.