How to prioritize your health as a caregiver

As a caregiver, your job is to help maintain the health of your client, but you have to make sure you’re healthy before helping anyone else

We know how it feels to wake up wanting to hit snooze and sleep a couple more hours. When this happens, it’s very hard to focus on your daily tasks. You will probably spend time thinking about going home and getting some more sleep. 

Since being tired distracts you from working, below we want to give you tips on how to make sure you’re well-rested enough for your shift.

Tip #1: Make sure you’re getting enough rest and sleep

We first recommend that you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night so that you have enough energy for your day. 

We know it’s hard for some people who are very busy to get 8 hours of sleep every day, since many caregivers are not only caregivers, but also:

  • Are mothers with children
  • Have another job OR
  • Look after their own family members

If you can’t get the full 8-hours because of your busy lifestyle, we recommend that you try:

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day OR
  • Making time every day where you can be alone and recharge

Going to bed and waking up at the same time works wonders because it sets your body on a schedule. Recharging alone by listening to music, or something else, helps you to clear your mind.

With 8 hours of sleep or a regular sleep schedule, and a little bit of personal time to recharge each day, you will be ready to provide the best care possible.

Tip #2: Talk to your manager if being tired is a pattern

If you find yourself feeling tired, unhealthy, or overall having low motivation for work most of the time, talk to your manager about it. Above all, your manager wants to make sure that your client is being well cared for. They know this can only happen if caregivers are healthy.

If you find that on most days, you’re feeling sick or have low energy, it's important that you let your manager know. Once they know, you and them can try to solve the problem. 

Possible solutions to your low energy would be to:

  1. Change you to a different shift
  2. Make a plan on how you can adjust your sleep schedule

Your manager wants you to present your best self at work every day. They will be happy to help you figure out how to better schedule your hours or come up with a new sleep schedule.

Tip #3: Make sure you’re eating balanced meals every day. 

Fueling your body with the right nutrients is what can give you that extra kick of energy you need to perform well at work. To do this, you should make sure that:

  • You’re eating protein, fruits and vegetables, grain, and dairy every day
  • You’re eating 3 meals a day
  • You’re eating before your shift. 

If you don’t eat properly balanced meals, 3 meals a day, and before your shift, you will not have enough energy to perform your best. This is why we recommend that you eat before your shift to start off on the right track. We also recommend that you take time at some point in your shift to quickly eat a meal or snack.

Tip #4: Bring food to your shift

Sometimes during the work day, what you need is some food to feel more energized. Make sure you bring snacks, water, and a meal (or two) depending on when your shift is so that you can eat if you’re hungry. 

When you have food available on your shift, then when you find yourself tired or with low-energy it’s easy for you to grab some food and recharge yourself. 

In summary, making sure you’re healthy is one of the most important things to do as a caregiver.

If you’re feeling well yourself, then you’re well-prepared to be a good caregiver. This way, you can help your client feel healthy and well. 

We know it can be hard, but you should make sure you have enough sleep, that you talk to your manager if not feeling well is a pattern, that you eat before your shift, and that you bring food and water to your shift. 

If you do these things, then you will find yourself leading a happier and healthier life. You will also find yourself living up to your full potential as a caregiver.

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