Tag Archives: SelfCare

5 Tips for Self-Care on a Budget

The concept of self-care is not a new one. We hear it emphasized on the news, in magazines and from our favorite celebrities. With just over 18% of the American population suffering from anxiety, self-care is more important than ever. But, it’s easy to say “get a massage” or “go to Cancun” when in reality, your budget may not allow it. From this, I’ve learned a few tricks to still treat and take care of yourself, while staying on budget.

Tip 1: Take Glowing Bubble Baths

I’m a huge advocate for glowsticks. You may be wondering what this has to do with bubble baths, but it all started when I moved to a new city and didn’t know anyone. Through volunteering in the community, I met a few people and was invited out to a birthday party one night. I was nervous, though because I was going by myself and was scared I wouldn’t know what to talk about. I went to the dollar store to calm my nerves (my favorite place, but more on that later) and stumbled on an entire aisle full of glowsticks. I brought some with me that night, and they’ve been my go-to icebreaker ever since. You may be surprised to hear that grown adults get just as excited to see glowsticks as kids do.

When I started my new job in my new city, I was anxious to say the least. One day, I brought glowsticks to a co-worker with kids. He told me the next morning about how much fun his kids had with the glowsticks when they threw them into a bubble bath. That thought had never even occurred to me. I went back to the dollar store and stocked up on bubble bath, a 20 pack of glowsticks and 3 candles. It cost me about $5. When I got home, I filled up the tub, turned off the lights, lit my candles and relaxed in the neon glow of my bubble bath. I felt like a kid again!

Tip 2: Volunteer in Your Community

It’s an amazing thing to help someone else, especially someone you love, when they need the support. And they’re so lucky to have you! But, being a caregiver can be exhausting. You may think that the last thing you’d want to do is use the free time you have volunteering. Trust me, though, taking some time to volunteer for a cause that you really care about can be a nice break from your daily responsibilities. You can volunteer once a month, or even just once year!

It’s also a great way to make friends. As mentioned, I volunteer in my community every weekend at the farmers market for about 3 hours in the morning. I work the coffee cart, and have since made some of my best friends there. I love being able to meet and interact with people from all walks of life – and the free coffee I get to drink is definitely a plus! If you’re not sure where to look for opportunities, check out VolunteerMatch. You can set up a free profile and they’ll alert you when opportunities arise that you may be interested in.

Tip 3: Take Mini Road Trips

I had to buy my first car when I moved. I grew up in Chicago, so I never needed one. Actually, I think it’s completely impractical to own a car there. Parking is impossible and expensive, traffic is nuts and your car is constantly covered in salt from the 2 feet of snow in the winter. So when I bought one before I moved, I wasn’t sure I’d know how to take care of it. Since buying it, I have a whole new sense of freedom. The city I’m in now has limited public transit, so it’s necessary to have a car. But the even bigger bonus is that I get to take little road trips once in a while. When I drive back home to Chicago, I’ll stop in a little off-the-highway town and grab dinner at the local diner or stay in budget hotel for the night. The last one I stayed in was about $55 for the night. It was fun to stop for a minute and relax in a town I’d probably never go to again, and not break the bank in doing so.

Road trips are fun and can be completely on your schedule. Just remember, though, that if you or your loved one have Medicare to make sure you’re covered while traveling. Some plans have different service areas depending on where you are.

Tip 4: DIY Spa Days

Remember how I said I love the dollar store? That’s because you can find cheaper alternatives of luxury items like bubble bath, face masks, manicure sets and nail polish. I even found a $1 eye mask there – the ones you put in the freezer before using. The combination of these items can make for a spa day under $10. But don’t forget to grab some glowsticks!

Tip 5: Try Journaling

There are countless studies that have proven the benefits of journaling. Nevertheless, it took a lot of encouragement for me to try it. I just couldn’t understand how writing about my day in a book every night would make me feel better, but it works! You can find fun journals on Amazon or Etsy. And of course, at the dollar store. You can pick up some stickers and decorate it yourself. Or, this could be a craft to do with your loved one you’re caring for, your kids or your grand kids.

You deserve to take time for yourself. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you treat yourself while sticking to your budget.

Author: Caroline Gillard is a public relations professional and freelance writer, focused on the health care and finance industries. Known to do stand-up on the side (and after the right amount of drinks), she aims to bring comedy to her writing while providing useful information for readers. carolinegillard10@gmail.com.

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Feeling Good When It’s Your Job To Care: Tips For Caregivers

Taking care of someone is a big job that often requires quite a bit of physical strength and emotional reserve. It can be difficult to manage your own life around someone else’s needs, and sometimes, that job can take a toll on your physical and mental health. For that reason, it’s imperative to make sure you take good care of yourself, learn to cope with stress and anxiety, and find ways to relax and focus on your own needs once in a while.

Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can do this. Managing your stress may seem like a difficult task, but there are things you can do to help yourself learn to cope in a healthy way no matter what is going on in your life. Not only will this allow you to focus on your own needs and boost your mental health, it will also help you find the motivation and energy you need to help your loved one or patient.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to practice self-care when you’re a caregiver.

Get enough rest

Adequate sleep–or a lack of it–can be one of the biggest reasons a person feels unable to cope with stress or anxiety. When you aren’t able to rest, your physical and mental abilities are reduced, making even the simplest of daily tasks difficult. There are several things you can do to help yourself get better rest, but it all starts with a good mattress that addresses your unique sleep needs. If your bedding is more than ten years old, or if you wake up in the morning feeling stiff and unrested, it’s time for a new mattress; be sure to check online for ones with good reviews.

Take a timeout

It can be overwhelming to try to handle everything in your own life when you’re taking care of someone else’s every need, but it’s important to try to take some time for yourself when you can. Whether that means heading out of town for an overnight trip or just sitting with a good book at the end of the day, think of small ways you can reduce stress and have some time to yourself. This isn’t always easy for caregivers to do, so talk to family members or coworkers to see if anyone can help out.

Eat right

Caregivers are more at risk than others for symptoms of depression or anxiety, and it’s common for them to not get enough rest or eat well-balanced meals every day. When you don’t eat right or stay hydrated, your mood and energy level can bottom out, leaving you feeling exhausted and irritable. If your schedule during the day (or night) is hectic, consider packing yourself several small, easy-to-eat snacks that will keep your blood sugar stable and help you get the nutrients you need. Cut-up veggies and hummus, string cheese, whole-wheat crackers, yogurt, and water or 100-percent fruit juice are great starts.

Treat yourself

When you get some time to yourself, make an effort to find a way to treat yourself. Get a massage or pedicure, spend some time doing something you love, or cook yourself a delicious meal. Finding small, healthy ways to make yourself happy will allow you to relax a little and take the weight of your job as a caregiver off your shoulders.

Feeling better when you spend so much time taking care of someone else can be difficult because it can lead to guilt or anxiety. Try to keep in mind that it’s just as important for your patient’s well-being as it is for yours, because you can’t be your best self when you’re tired or stressed out.

To learn more about June and her work visit: June Duncan 💚 june@riseupforcaregivers.org

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How to Keep Your Body Healthy as You Age

There is no way to stop aging. Though it is often seen negatively, with many people wishing to grasp onto their youth, there is a certain beauty in having lived a life full of great memories and special moments.

However, you would be lucky to encounter next to no health problems when you begin to age, as your body becomes more vulnerable to chronic conditions and health threats. It can be easy to feel as though you are fighting a losing battle when it comes to aging, but there is a multitude of ways in which you can keep your body healthy in your everyday life.

If you are struggling to find ways of doing this, you should take note of some ever-important advice.

  1. Watch out for health problems

No matter what age you are, people have a habit of ignoring their body when there are clear problems that need addressing. As you get older, these problems can impact your quality of life more if they are not resolved. Though you should bear in mind common health problems like fatigue and indigestion, you should also note any symptoms of issues like arthritis, which are more prevalent in the older generations. Among the most common of these are blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks. Taking a low-dose aspirin like Cartia can reduce the risk of having blood clots to begin with.

  1. Visit your doctor often

Spotting these problems is one thing, but doing something about them is another. Although certain remedies can be made and enjoyed at home, there will be times when it is better to seek support from your doctor.

While it is a good idea to speak to a medical professional at the first sign of a health problem, it is better to go for regular check-ups with your local doctor. This means they can check if everything is in working order, and they can give you some handy tips on how you can improve your health at home. Perhaps most importantly, they can spot any underlying health problems that you may not have noticed yourself.

  1. Exercise regularly

Having regular exercise is something that everyone can benefit from. As you age, there is no exception, but there are changes you must make to your exercise routine if you want to maximize your health.

Though you should aim for maintaining a healthy weight, you should also remember that high-impact sports may do more harm to your bones and muscles than good. Instead, you should find some gentler sports to participate in a few times a week. For example, exercises like Pilates can improve your bone and muscle health, without the strain that sports like weightlifting may afford. It has also been proven to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, which is something your body will need as time goes on.

  1. Spend time outside

It is a sad truth that many older people spend less time outdoors than they did before. Mostly, this is due to adverse weather conditions increasing their risk of having an accident. Yet there are many benefits your body can enjoy by spending as much time in the great outdoors as you can. Ideally, you should try and spend a few minutes in the sun each day with sunscreen on, so your body can glean all the Vitamin D it needs for youthful skin. You might consider combining exercise and the natural world by going on long walks, where your body can absorb lots of oxygen and your mental wellbeing will also improve.

  1. Eat a balanced diet

Rarely is regular exercise recommended without having a balanced diet on the side. In fact, your body will need lots of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to keep it healthy. It is easy to find such nutrients in colorful fruits and vegetables, but lean meats and carbohydrates are also an essential part of any diet. Every day, you should dedicate some time to cooking easy, wholesome meals, which will ensure you are getting all the goodness you need.

One thing you should never neglect from your diet is water, as drinking above the recommended daily intake will keep your body free from toxins and prevent your skin from showing signs of aging.

  1. Cut out unhealthy foods

Though there are many foods you should make a conscious effort with to include in your diet, there are some others which should be cut out when you get older. It is imperative to enjoy some of your favorite foods sometimes, but this should not be all the time, as foods rich in fats, salt and caffeine can only cause more health problems than it is worth. This is also the same with alcohol and any other dangerous substances, which can put a big strain on your heart and mind over time.

  1. Sleep more

Fatigue is something that people of any age can experience, but it is, unfortunately, something that becomes more common as you age. You may find new ways of stopping this fatigue, such as having peppermint tea to wake you up every morning, but you must also listen to your body.

If you are feeling tired, it is wise to make some time to sleep, so your body can regain enough energy to enjoy the activities you love. Eating a nutrient-rich diet and following a good exercise routine are both great ways of tackling this problem.

  1. Prioritize your mental wellbeing

One of the biggest myths out there is that your mind and body are separate. What affects your mental wellbeing will also affect your body, such as when depression leads to severe episodes of fatigue. It may also be true that you get lonelier as you get older, which can have some impact on your mental health.

When it comes to prioritizing your wellbeing, you should make time to practice self-care, like reading your favorite book or seeing old friends. Giving yourself small moments of happiness will have a positive effect on your brain, and therefore your body.

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