Being a home caregiver is both a rewarding and demanding vocation. Home caregiving provides a service that allows people to age or recover from injury or illness within the comfort of their own homes. Home caregivers provide everything from running errands to making meals to maintaining hygiene to being a source of companionship. It is a vocation that requires a complex mix of social and professional skills, along with a deep sense of empathy.
Considering the variety of tasks and the physical, emotional, and mental requirements, it is no wonder that home caregivers can suffer from burnout. Home caregivers spend so much time taking care of others that they can forget to take care of themselves.
5 of the Best Self-Care Tips for Home Caregivers
Self-care for home caregivers comes with a unique set of qualities that often differ from the self-care tips that would suit other professions. Below are five self-care tips that we believe are some of the best ways home caregivers can recharge and take care of themselves, so that they may best serve their clients.
1. Taking Care of Your Own Home
Oftentimes, home caregivers spend so much of their weeks in other people’s homes that they have little time leftover to make sure their own home is in good shape. But since home is where the heart is, it is all too important to make sure that your home is a place of refuge and not a mess. A cluttered, neglected home is bound to make you feel disorganized as well. Spending even just ten minutes a day doing something nice for your home — such as washing the windows, rearranging the furniture, or tackling the dishes that have been piling up in the sink — will help you feel more grounded and more at peace.
2. Are You Working for the Right Home Care Agency?
If you’re feeling frustrated with your agency and are continuously suffering from burnout, it may be time to take your services elsewhere. After all, not all home care agencies are alike. There are numerous home care agencies and some are more reputable than others. Many home caregivers do not even realize that there are better options out there. If you are feeling unhappy with your job as a home caregiver, it may be the agency and not the work itself. Choose a home care agency with these qualities to get the most out of your home caregiving career:
Provides adequate training in all areas of home care
Salary is at least market rate
Ensures that home caregivers are paired with clients who are a good fit
Has support services to address any caregiving concerns
Works with a diverse range of clients
Provides a positive working atmosphere
Always compensates for time spent with clients
Requires a thorough reference check and criminal background check
Has a good reputation and positive reviews
Never discriminates based on age, orientation, gender, or race
Helps caregivers create care plans for clients
These are just a few of the qualities a reputable home care agency will possess. If you have questions about what else to look for, please reach out to Alegre Home Care and ask us about our progressive approach to home caregiving services!
3. Take Care of Mind, Body, and Soul
When planning your self-care, remember to consider all areas of what makes you human. Juggling home caregiving tasks while maintaining balance in your personal life can sometimes feel as complicated as a circus act. And yet it is all too important to nurture all aspects of your life. For example, if your self-care routine includes being mindful and meditating, but doesn’t include healthy eating, you will not receive the full benefits. Balance mind, body, and soul by addressing the factors that affect each of these areas in your life. You can find more information about the mind, body, and soul connection to home caregiving in this article here.
4. Reach Out for Support
Home caregiving requires a “go-getter” mentality, and sometimes this spills over into our personal lives. Home caregivers are so used to taking care of others that they often have a hard time allowing others to take care of them. This is because receiving care instead of giving care feels like such a contrast to a home caregiver’s usual role. However, support from loved ones, therapists, co-workers, and your home care agency is important and beneficial. If you feel like you are struggling or if there is an issue that is causing you concern, don’t hesitate to reach out! Rather than worrying that you will be a burden, consider that people are often happy to offer support, since supporting others feels rewarding and allows people to feel like they are being useful. This is the same reason why many people become home caregivers in the first place!
5. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Sleep
Numerous studies have proven that sleep is the single most important factor that affects people’s health and overall wellbeing. Sleep has a profound impact not only on your body but on your emotional faculties, as well. It is recommended that adults receive eight hours of sleep a night. Getting your eight hours of sleep is just the minimum for healthy sleep — take this self-care practice further by trying to go to sleep at the same time each night, having a sleep routine in place, and sleeping on a mattress that offers adequate support for your body type. You can even take your sleep routine to the next level by making it a luxurious experience. Try taking a warm bath with epsom salts in the evening, using calming essential oils such as lavender, and treating yourself to high quality sheets and pillows. You’ll be getting plenty of rejuvenating ZZZs in no time!
If you try all these suggestions and find that you are still not getting enough sleep, it would be wise to contact your doctor to see if they can help. Since home caregivers often encounter stressful situations during working hours, the anxiety from this stress can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Are You Interested in Becoming a Home Caregiver?
Home caregiving is rewarding, enjoyable, and important work. At Alegre Home Care, we think of home caregiving as more of a vocation than a job. We have a solid reputation that we are proud to stand behind and we are often hiring! If you are looking for home care employment, please contact us at one of our many Northern California locations.