As a caregiver, your responsibilities are endless, and with that comes added stress and the potential to put your health aside to care for another. Whether you’re caring for your children, a parent, or other elderly relatives, it is essential to learn how to juggle all of your responsibilities without damaging your health.
When caring for others, time may be limited, so finding the time for exercise may be difficult. Although finding the time may be hard, it is necessary to maintain your overall health. If you remain inactive, you can develop:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Colon, breast or uterine cancer
When engaging in exercise, you reduce your risk of developing these conditions. Your exercises do not need to elaborate, just a quick 15 to 20 minutes of movement. If visiting a gym is out of the question, find ways to work out at home. Walking up and down the stairs, going for a walk, or even a workout video at home with your family can get that blood flowing.
Make You A Priority, Too
Caring for others can take a toll on a person and leave them feeling like their glass is empty. Although commendable, putting others before yourself all the time can leave you drained, so it is important to care for yourself as well and allow yourself some time for the things you love too. When you care for yourself, you are boosting energy and making it easier for you to care for others.
Find time to watch a favorite TV show, try the new restaurant in town, or finish your woodworking project. If the person you care for requires 24-hour supervision, ask a friend to take over for you for a few hours or find out if home health agencies in your area offer respite care.
Maintaining Your Health
If you are under the weather, chances are you are not going to be the best caregiver that you could be. Eating a balanced diet and getting proper exercise are ways to enhance your overall health. When meal planning, ensure that you incorporate all the major food groups to give you a well-balanced diet.
When making an appointment with a doctor, make sure you keep it! The longer you put off care, the longer your illness or injury will linger around in your already busy life. Preventative care such as check-ups will also go along way in improving your ability to care for others.
Use Safe Lifting Techniques
Poor lifting techniques can cause injuries that make it difficult or impossible to care for your relative. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 17 percent of caregivers reported that they experienced 14 or more physically unhealthy days over a month.
Always lift with your legs and keep your neck and head aligned to help you avoid injury. No matter how cautiously you move, damages can still happen. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help if you don’t think you can move the person safely.
When lifting and caring for a parent or an older adult, caregivers often report stiffness and pain, mostly located in the neck and back. Although minor aches and pains may seem normal for adulthood, ignoring these symptoms can potentially lead to other conditions.
Adding regular chiropractic care into your lifestyle can help to minimize pain and stiffness and make you a better caregiver to your loved ones. With spinal manipulation, our Atlanta chiropractors can improve your overall health and decrease your level of pain and allow healing for injured areas.
Both you and your family member or friend benefit when you take care of yourself. If caregiving is taking a toll on your body, we can help. Contact our Atlanta chiropractors to schedule your chiropractic appointment by dialing (404) 889-8828 today.