Caring for a parent or loved one shows your love and compassion, but can the development of caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout can begin as a caregiver focuses all their attention on a loved one, but neglects their wants and needs.
One way to combat the effects of caregiver burnout is to maintain a healthy diet. The Pavilion Senior Living respects those undertaking informal caregiving tasks, and we want to provide you with a few tips to help you sustain and healthier lifestyle.
Meal-Planning and Preparation
Though the word “diet” is full of negative connotations, we urge you to push past this. Meal-planning is the first step to maintaining better dietary habits. As a caregiver, you likely find yourself staying busy during all the hours of the day, making it a challenge to prepare a meal and sit down to eat it. Meal-planning helps alleviate some of that stress by giving you a set plan of action. Your meals don't have to be extravagant to get the job done, either. There are plenty of healthy meals you can make in 20 minutes or less! These meals can be diverse and healthy.
It can be hard to find the time to begin meal-planning, but taking the time to plan will save you time in the long run. If you are starving your body or constantly eating unhealthy options, you can increase your level of stress, which further leads to caregiver burnout.
While this point also has negative connotations, it can be important to maintaining a healthy weight. Calorie counting can be difficult, but luckily, there are resources available that can help. These resources will ask for your age, height, weight, and level of activity, and based on these criteria, it will determine your ideal caloric intake per day. Though eating three meals is important, unhealthy snacking habits can throw a wrench in your plans. Having a calorie goal can help you stay focus and pay more attention to what you are putting into your body. Put good in, get good out!
It can be genuinely difficult to find the right balance as a caregiver. Finding a balance between your loved one and your own care needs can be the key to avoiding caregiver burnout. Maintaining your health as a caregiver is a part of those needs. While maintaining a healthy diet won’t alleviate all stress, it can help to enhance the level of care you provide to your parent or loved one.
Caregiver health is important, and experiencing burnout can cause your level of care to decline. If this is the case for you, it may be time for a break or vacation. The Pavilion Senior Living offers respite, or short-term, care for caregivers or family members who need a break. Our respite care services provide your loved one with compassionate and comprehensive care while reaping the benefits of a senior living community - and affording you some much-needed rest and relaxation! If you are interested in learning more about our respite care services, please contact us!