You spend so much of your spare time helping your mom that you’ve lost sight of yourself. It happens if you’re not careful, but it can also increase your risk of anxiety and depression. You need to make sure you’re having fun and taking care of yourself, even if you’re the main family caregiver and with your mom every day.
Don’t Stress If Things Don’t Get Done
Each day, you have a list of tasks that you want to complete. Prioritize the to-do list so that the urgent tasks are at the top. If you run out of time or energy for the other tasks, don’t let it stress you out. There are other days.
Some of the items on your list that should be completed are meals, hygiene, grooming, and medication reminders. Prioritize these and don’t stress about the others.
Clean to Music
When you’re doing the housework, turn on some music. Often, the beat invigorates you as you vacuum, dust, and move around from room to room. With the right beat, it helps keep your energy levels up until the work is done.
If your mom has dementia, you might find that music also makes it easier to get through the chores. Music has a way of soothing some of the anxiety and frustration that go hand-in-hand with the stages of dementia.
Ask For Help
Be sure you’re letting your siblings and close relatives know if you’re overwhelmed. They cannot help out if they don’t know you need it. Many people are hesitant to ask because they don’t want to make it look like they don’t think you’re doing enough. If you speak up and ask, they can ask where you’d most like them to help out.
Plan Fun Days Out
Sometimes, it’s better to just get out and have fun. What does your mom like to do? Figure out activities that you enjoy that aren’t too much for her. If she enjoys museums, go to a museum and have lunch. She enjoys shopping. Head to the mall for the day and window shop before you have lunch or dinner out.
You might want to go to the movies or take a stroll along the waterfront. Whatever appeals to you, make sure you’re spending some time doing fun activities that you both enjoy.
Take Regular Breaks
What’s most important is that you take breaks regularly. If you have no time to yourself while caring for your mom, it’s time to stop. Burnout is common with family caregivers who forget to make time for self-care.
Talk to an in-home care specialist about respite care. Have a caregiver come to your mom’s home and help her at least once a week so that you’re able to engage in a favorite hobby or social event. A specialist can guide you to the services your mom needs and how much they cost.