Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

Four (4) tips to aid caregivers to take time for themselves while caring for others – post-pandemic.

A caregiver’s role is both rewarding and demanding. It requires energy, patience, and empathy. It is easy to forget about yourself and become overwhelmed, especially after the unusual pandemic, where shared resources for respite care may not be as readily available.

With COVID-19 causing significant restrictions in daily activities and social interactions, many have lost the essential caregiving support services they desperately need. Sheltering in place leaves caregivers with fewer options to get outside or take breaks from the person they are caring for.  

Now that the post-pandemic era has come, life has changed in big and small ways over the last year. Plans were suspended, and priorities shifted as people cautiously made their way through a situation they had never experienced, much less imagined. As humankind gets closer than ever to putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind them (thanks to safe practices and wider vaccine distribution to slow the spread of the virus), many people are looking forward to returning to the things they have been missing. These are planned vacations on pause, suspended social gatherings, or even just dropping by a friend’s or loved one for a coffee catch-up. 

There is one priority, however, that people have all shared during the pandemic that should remain high on your list: your health. If there is one thing the human race has collectively learned over the past two years, it is that your health means everything. Read on.

4 Tips To Prevent Caregiver Burnout After The Era Of Pandemic

People have put a lot of time and energy into protecting themselves and others from COVID-19, which is very important and worthwhile. But taking care of your health means more than staying virus-free. It means taking control of your health so you can stay on top of any issues that arise before they become serious. It means not taking back the care you need to get healthier and feel better to enjoy the things you have been missing lately wholly. Here are some important ways to prioritize your health in the months and years to come and prevent Post-Pandemic Caregiving burnout.

            Tip #1. Take Care of Yourself.   Do schedule screen time. No, not that kind of screen time. This refers to health screenings that are important road markers on your health journey – like annual mammograms if you are a woman who is 40 and up, yearly colonoscopies if you are 45 and older, and low-dose CT screening if you are a former or current smoker. Talk to your physician about your risks and the right timing for you. It is no surprise that American Cancer Society researchers estimate that almost 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2021. If you have been putting off your yearly check-up and screening, now is a perfect time to get it on the calendar and get the peace of mind it can bring.

            Tip #2. Do not wager on your health. Emergencies are called emergencies for a reason. When one puts their health at immediate risk, they must get the care they need as soon as possible. Do not wait because an emergency will not stay on you. If you are experiencing chest pain or any emergency, minutes do matter. You must get to the hospital and get the care you need right when you need it.

            Tip #3. Live Healthy. Creating routines and good habits can go a long way toward keeping you ready and healthy to embrace all life has to offer. Engaging in regular physical activity, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and taking care of your mental health all have significant benefits for your health and can help reduce your risk for certain diseases. Talk with your healthcare provider. They can point you in the direction or help you with the advice you may need to feel your best.

            Tip #4. Finesse Frustration. Caring for someone with a disease or an illness can be exasperating under normal circumstances, but negative emotions can get out of hand these days. You need to remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, and so does your loved one. Try not to lose that temper, and be as understanding and empathetic as possible. As they say, your relatives probably would not remember your outburst, but you will never forget it. When tensions rise, walk away and vent in another room.

Final Words             Remember, your health affects every other aspect of your life. Without it, it is much more challenging to enjoy the people and things in your life that bring you joy. So, please do not make it wait. Get the care you need. Start a new healthy habit. Take care of your health. It means everything

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