Navigating Your Road Trip For Self-Care
Most people schedule regular maintenance for their cars, we want to make sure that our car is running well, and in good repair so that our passengers and ourselves are safe as well as extend the life of the car by taking good care of it, so...
Why do we take such good care of our cars and not ourselves? We are after all just as important as our cars, and I would say more important! What if we looked at SELF- CARE as more of maintenance that NEEDS to be done? We must “run” smoothly for us to be good caregivers.
So here are some ways to “Run” smoothly:
Full tank of gas - Get good sleep and enough of it. You won't get anything done if you are tired. I know when I don’t get enough sleep, I am cranky, that then carries over to other people and the last thing we want is to be cranky to someone we love and are trying to help. It’s okay to sleep during the day!
New tires/tire checkup - Do you have good shoes? Do your feet hurt? We are busy as caregivers, and we must have the right support for our body (feet) in order to support us and help us get through the day and alleviate falls. Wear good shoes that support you, you may want to see a podiatrist and make sure that there is nothing medically going on with your feet.
Oil changed? Are you drinking enough water? Getting enough nutrition - You do not want your “engine” to seize up. It’s important to get adequate water and eat nutritious foods. When you are not getting the vitamins and energy from foods that you need, it is easy to get worn down and makes you more susceptible to illness.
Clean windows? Have you had your eyes checked lately? Maybe it's time for some new glasses. As caregivers we often set aside some of the appts that we need.
Lights working? Do not be in the dark - learn about Caregiving skills and resources that are in your community. Five County offers a variety of Caregiver and preventative classes.
Safety-Seatbelts, airbags, jumper cables - Its always important to have some “Safety” features in place - Who can you call for respite, or emergencies? Do you have a “Go to” self-care routine that is a quick fix for you? Who can you call when you just need to talk/vent?
Do you have back up plans, emergency numbers listed, medication lists, current pictures of your care receiver in case they wander off? These are things to have in place before they are needed, and you are in crisis.
Road trip fun - Snacks and music? Don’t forget to schedule some self-care fun. Whatever you enjoy is important to your overall well-being and health.
Take the time to make it happen!
Sheri Reber is a licensed Social Service Worker, Certified Dementia Practitioner, Trainer, RCI REACH Caregiver Coach and Therapeutic Recreation Technician. She has been with the Area Agency on Aging- Five County since 2015, and has worked in the social services field in Southwest Utah since 1995.