Taking care of your mental health is a topic we hear a lot about these days. From athletes to celebrities and even royalty, discussions around personal well-being are everywhere.
As a caregiver, it is essential to make self-care a priority. Many of us can’t take long breaks, so even taking few minutes frequently throughout the day and listening to music, reading, talking to a friend on the phone, any activity that allows you to catch your breath and take some time for yourself.
Perhaps meditation is something you are open to trying. Now if just hearing the word meditation instantly drums up images of people chanting, burning incense and saying “OM”, think again. Many guided meditations are simply someone talking in a soothing voice, encouraging you to relax and tune in to how you are feeling. Oftentimes they provide words of encouragement and positive affirmations.
It doesn’t need to be complicated or costly and you definitely don’t need to spend a lot of money on courses or books. There are lots of free resources you can find online. YouTubeTM has many terrific guided meditations, and if you don’t have Internet access, even closing your eyes and tuning into your breathing can help you to feel calmer.
Exercise of course is always a good way to battle stress. Many of us don’t have the time or the money to go to the gym, so a home workout is often a good compromise. Perhaps 5 minutes is all you can manage at a time. Go for it! Just giving yourself those 5 minutes, just for you, is really important.
If you start to feel really overwhelmed, always ask for help. Speak up and let friends or family know you are struggling, they may not always remember to ask. It’s up to YOU to make sure you make your own health a priority.
Your family doctor is a great person to include as part of your overall self-care plan, and in addition to ensuring you get regular medical check ups they can also connect you with resources in the community.