On the third Friday in February, we observe National Caregivers Day and honor the people who selflessly provide personal care to those who need it most. As a caregiver, you may be doing challenging work, providing round-the-clock care and giving physical and emotional support. However, it’s essential to remember the importance of showing yourself some love and gratitude.
In an emergency on an airplane, adults are instructed to secure their own oxygen masks before helping others. The same principle applies to caregivers each day: If you’re not healthy in mind and body, you may not be able to deliver the best care.
So, we’re happy to share some tips on how to celebrate and care for yourself.
Do What You Love.
Knowing how you want to practice self-love starts with increasing your self-awareness. Whether it’s spending the day in the comfort of your home or going out for a hike, do something you love. Many people may advise you on ways to practice self-care, including exercising, unplugging from your gadgets, going to the spa, meditating or meeting with friends. But focusing on your preferences and what feels right for you will be best for achieving optimal mental health and wellbeing.
Have a Good Meal.
The demands of being a caregiver can take you away from having healthy, quality meals on time. If you’ve made a habit of rushing through meals or grabbing something easy and quick to get you through the day, it may be time to change that. Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes you and brings you joy. You may want to book a reservation at your favorite restaurant or thoughtfully cook your favorite meal.
Make Self-care a Habit.
National Caregivers Day may only happen once a year, but it can be a great reminder that you should be practicing self-care every day. The day itself can be spent evaluating your calendar to block off times of the month to relax, meditate, indulge in hobbies you love, escape or simply catch up on sleep. You’re more likely to follow through if you block that time off on your calendar.
Attend to Your Own Healthcare.
We can’t overstate the importance of being proactive with your health. Evaluating your current state of health can be productive and fulfilling. Spend time updating your medical history by listing any current medications and conditions. Perform self-checks, such as a skin test, breast test, waist test, blood pressure and so on. You may even schedule an annual check-up.
However you spend the actual day, we applaud you for dedicating yourself to caring for others—and hope you’ll show yourself that same level of care and compassion.
At Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology (TBRO), more than a thousand men and women diagnosed with cancer each year turn to our trusted team of cancer specialists. We encourage you to call us, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion so you, too, can experience the difference.