Learning how to take care of yourself early in your journey as a Parkinson’s disease (PD) caregiver is more important than you might think. If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, too stressed to think clearly, then you can’t be at your best, as a person or caregiver.
Here’s what we know:
- Build in quality time for yourself. Your life as a caregiver may be hectic, but it’s also important to keep doing the things you love with people you enjoy.
- Exercise regularly. Whether it’s a long walk or a quick jog, you’ll not only sleep better, you’ll relieve stress and increase your energy.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Carry a reusable water bottle around with you as a reminder to stay hydrated.
- Recognize when you are stressed. It’s important to be self-aware and acknowledge when you need to take a relaxing break.
- Get enough rest. Sleep is when our brains flush out unnecessary information and reset for the next day.
- Take time — or make time — to relax. It’s difficult but if you can, block off a short period of time on your calendar every day and make it your self-care routine to refresh.
- Keep your sense of humor. Laughing feels good and you deserve to have happy moments through this process too.
- See your doctor. Get regular checkups and don’t miss your own medical appointments. Your health is valuable too.
- Think about your future and goals. What do you hope to achieve? How can you achieve them? Can your loved one help you achieve them?
- Set limits and stick to them. Bring in outside help (family or professional caregivers) so you can take a break. You deserve it.
Honor is a home care agency providing service in California and northern Texas. Honor utilizes the Parkinson's Foundation proprietary care guidance to bring personalized care to the homes of people living with Parkinson’s. If you need more guidance or would like to talk to a PD specialist, you can also call the Parkinson's Foundation Helpline at 1-800-473-4636.