Home caregiving is a vocation that requires a lot of diligence, empathy, and focus. Caregivers often find themselves multitasking and having to play many roles at once. Housekeeper, cook, advocate, companion, medical professional — a caregiver has to be all these things and more. It’s one of the reasons why caregivers are so special. Not every person is capable of handling a caregiving vocation. In some ways, caregivers are like superheroes, with special abilities that allow them to provide high quality care to those in need.
This is why it is so important for caregivers to remember to take time to pause. It can be all too easy to get caught up in a laundry list of tasks or a stressful situation. Taking a second to pause and truly reflect on the best course of action can make all the difference in providing high quality care. It’s what’s best for the person receiving care and it’s also what’s best for the caregiver.
Compassion fatigue or caregiver burnout are serious repercussions many caregivers struggle with due to overworking and not taking proper rest. These can be real challenges, so home caregivers need to take precautions to prevent these conditions from occurring. Taking time to pause is one of the ways to reduce the risks.
3 Ways to Take Time to Pause
Take time to pause? When you’ve got so many things to juggle, this can be easier said than done! Rest assured, Alegre Home Care has some caregiving tips that can help.
1. Take five deep breaths.
One of the side effects of stress is shallow breathing, which means less oxygen gets to the brain. More oxygen equals better cognitive function. So when caregivers are caught up in a stressful or busy moment, it is helpful to take five deep breaths to give the brain a boost of oxygen. This will help caregivers make the best decisions for themselves and for the people in their care. Why five? It takes a few tries to go from shallow breathing to deep breathing, so the first couple breaths are usually not deep enough. Taking five deep breaths also provides enough time for a good, solid pause. An extra caregiving tip is to have your clients take five deep breaths with you!
2. Run through your five senses.
A good grounding technique to help your mind align with your body (which provides a sense of calm and reduces stress) is to take a moment and think of three things you can see, three things you can taste, three things you can touch, three things you can hear, and three things you can smell that are in your immediate environment. This technique is so efficient that it is used to help people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Caregivers can practice this technique for themselves and also with their clients.
3. Count down from ten.
Focusing on a simple, easy, goal oriented task (getting from 10 to 0) helps calm the mind. Doing something that makes your brain feel organized is a satisfactory experience and reduces stress. Turn this caregiving tip up to eleven by adding a suggestion or mantra before you start counting. Such as, “When I reach 0 I will feel clear headed and peaceful.”
Quality Home Care Services
Sometimes the small things make all the difference. Taking just a moment to pause and reflect can turn a difficult day into a joyful one. And the little things add up. This is one of the key ways to provide quality home care services. Alegre Home Care also ensures that caregivers receive continual training and are fully supported with their clients. If you are interested in becoming a home caregiver or if you are interested in receiving care, please contact Alegre Home Care at one of our Northern California locations.