Lots of caregivers want to argue that they don’t need time away, but that’s not completely accurate. You need to be able to have time to yourself, both in short spurts and for longer periods of time.
Taking a Break Isn’t a Waste of Valuable Time
So often people believe that taking a break means that time is wasted. It’s frittered away on activities that aren’t accomplishing anything. The reality is that taking a break is never wasted time. Everyone needs time to rest and to recuperate and that is especially true for caregivers. You need to be able to have time in which you can breathe and focus on something else, even for a little while.
Your Body and Your Brain Are Trying to Tell You Something
Your body gets tired and so does your brain. When that happens, you start to get subtle messages from both. You might have trouble concentrating or you find that you’re more irritable than usual. Or you might find that you’re having trouble sleeping. Worse can be when you are sleeping and you still wake up feeling exhausted. Start learning what your body’s cues and messages to you mean so that you can respond accordingly.
Mix up Your Breaks Regularly
There are different types of breaks and they can fit multiple situations. Throughout the day, you need to take mini-breaks. There’s a reason corporations allow smaller breaks as well as a larger meal break. Take five or ten minutes to do something just for yourself or even to do nothing at all. Mix up the types of breaks that you take during the day. During the week, you need to allow yourself to take even bigger breaks. Step away for a few hours, if not a whole day. You need that time away.
Get Some Help with Taking Breaks
Taking breaks may feel impossible to you right now and that’s likely because your senior needs a lot of care. You don’t have to do this alone. Hire senior care providers who can stay with your aging adult while you take a few hours for yourself. For smaller breaks, consider taking advantage of times that friends or family members stop by. Those opportunities can be heaven sent.
Eventually you’re going to find that you can’t keep going as a caregiver unless you do finally take some time for yourself. Stop looking at a break as something that means you’re lazy or that you don’t care and look at it from the perspective of what it allows you to do as a caregiver.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Purcellville, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.