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Who Is Taking Care Of The Care-Giver?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation you just took care of others and without thing simply forgot to look after yourself? And only after a few months you realised you were so exhausted that the body gave you clear signs that a break is a must! I chose this topic for this week as I myself realised (believe it or not) exactly that! I also was in need to reorganise my life for the better. After all, we are only humans, life throughs at us whatever and we have to deal with it. And even with the best intentions, the priority should still be the us, the care givers.

It’s natural to us to care

Most of us take care of others in one way or another. It comes naturally, especially when living in a household with various generations represented. The latin Americans and Indians are a typical example. Then there are people who take care of someone full time, either as a family member or as a professional caregiver. And also parents with jobs or businesses bringing up young children, with no family support just paid support.

What does care-giving involve?

Family caregivers are generally relatives who provide emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking and other services on a daily or intermittent basis for an ill or disabled loved one at home. Professional caregivers are paid to provide either medical or non-medical care in a home or a facility.

Care-giving can take a toll

Taking care of someone who is disabled or ill is stressful and takes a toll both physically and mentally on the caregiver. Studies consistently report higher levels of depressive symptoms and mental health problems among caregivers than their non-caregiving peers.1 Caregivers have high levels of stress, and study participants described feelings of frustration, anger, guilt and helplessness as a result of providing care.2 Caregivers are also at greater risk for the development of cardiovascular syndromes such as high blood pressure or heart disease—this may be the result of having to constantly respond to the demanding needs of the “patient.”3

Where do you start to take care of yourself?

What can you do to take care of yourself so that your own health does not deteriorate from the pressures of being a full- or part-time caregiver?  The main thing is to take time for yourself, to relax and center yourself.4 What that entails is really up to you. It might be exercising before assuming caretaking duties or taking time out to meditate. It could even be having a short conversation with a friend. According to psychologist Susan Pinker, “Face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters, and they protect you now, in the present and well into the future.”5 When you can’t meet for a heart-to-heart chat, consider FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and other apps. This is so invaluable. Of course, it has to be the right kind of person for you.

Why caregivers don’t look after themselves?

Caretaking can be heartbreaking and all-consuming. Caregivers therefore are less likely to participate in their own Active Wellness as they try to help their patients above and beyond anyone else. They are less likely to engage in preventative health behaviors, such as getting regular checkups, eating nutritious meals and regularly exercising. In fact, those are the exact behaviors that can help caretakers manage their own health properly.

A good start is to fill a bottle of water or a flask with tea in the morning and finish it by lunch time and refill again for the afternoon.

A few words about mental wellbeing

Being mentally in balance so important. It’s also vast topic. I’d like to share my experience in short. The days run pass me. Each day is challenging and tiring in different way. It was the vision I have for myself though that helped me to get back and the mini routines you see below that made the difference. I had the realization that it would be me who will help me, nobody else. I knew exactly where I was falling short. And lastly, when I learnt about a tribe who collectively felt sad/ depressed  for a few days sitting around a fire. I thought it’s ok to feel that way. So I did. No social media, tv, news, papers (not that I do anyway) not much social interaction, just be a hermit for a little while. It worked for me. Vipassana meditation is a great way to escape and go within.Â

My personal tips

  1. A good start is to fill a bottle of water or a flask with tea in the morning and finish it by lunch time and refill again for the afternoon.
  2. 10 min exercise before breakfast and everyone else wakes up. I have a set of routines from a yoga book and 10 min power blast from Liz Earle’s book Skin Secrets
  3. Meditation – I absolutely love the Tubes of Light. A friend of mine has created a voice recording which I’ll be more than happy to share with you if you email me.
  4. Pray, Gratitude, Thanks Giving – however you want to call it – once or twice a day.
  5. Taking vitamin supplements every day! In today’s stressful life it’s a must, that helps your body to work at its best day after day!
  6. Sleep – sleep routine is a key. The Nikken tools are invaluable do just that!
  7. Spend time in nature
  8. Create a self-care routine that works for you.
  9. Have a vision for yourself

A Nikken Wellness Home can help

Whether you personally are a caretaker or know someone who is, Nikken has been a pioneer in the Global Wellness Community for decades and continues to offer solutions that help maintain physical and mental well-being. The entire range of Kenzen organic nutritional supplements, Kenko products that promote rest and relaxation and Kenzen personal care designed specifically to help maintain hygienic living can help caretakers take care of themselves. So please share so I can help those in need to be better at the jobs

1, 2, 3  https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-health

4,5 https://herohealth.com/6-ways-to-improve-life-as-a-caregiver?utm_source=google&utm_medium=nonbranded&gclid=CjwKCAiA-f78BRBbEiwATKRRBLSkbafnkv36Z3I63oJTneBf3Dnh06SHrzsSQjSyguFoaFu-zaphFRoCWIcQAvD_BwE

Lucie Patel Varekova, Bc.

Lady Self-Care

Consultant for the Humans Being More Movement


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