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Self-Care for Caregivers

Mar 22, 2023

Self-Care for Caregivers

By: Generationally Prepared

March, 2023


Senior caregiving can often be a full-time job, and with that can come feelings of burnout, inadequacy, or stress. To be able to support your Senior to the best of your capacity, you need to be taking care of yourself just as much as you support them. This article is dedicated to the Caregiver who finds themselves at the crossroads of balancing their own priorities with that of their loved one, though these tips can also be practiced by your Senior too!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to gauge how your own self-care regimen is going:

  • Am I constantly worried or stressed about the care of my Senior to the point where I’m not sleeping enough or eating routine meals?
  • Am I feeling unfulfilled as a caregiver? Do I feel underappreciated in my day-to-day life?
  • Am I showing up in the ways I need to for my Senior?
  • Am I struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety over my role as Caregiver?

If you answered “Yes” to one or more of the prompts, a reboot in your self-care routine may be necessary! This article is a list of quick tips to help get your self-care priorities back on track.


As you go about the necessities of the day, make sure you’re checking in with yourself and practicing a level of self-compassion. You’re only human after all! Focus on your inner dialogue with yourself and how your thoughts are directed towards your own efforts. Do you speak with a kind voice, acknowledging the difficulties of caregiving but still understanding that you have your own flaws and insecurities? Are you able to maintain a boundary with yourself if your Senior is having a rough day without letting it affect you? Self-compassion is an important daily practice, one that you need to be your best self. Self-compassion is also understanding that self-care is just as important as supporting your Senior.

Breath Work

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious over your role, taking time to do some focused breath work can help release feelings of unease and provide mental clarity.

  • Go to a peaceful space where you can be as uninterrupted as possible
  • Get into a comfortable position, standing up or lying down
  • Try a four-count breath; count to four while breathing in, hold for four seconds, then release for four seconds
  • Let thoughts come and go while non-judgmentally observing them
  • Repeat for 15 minutes

Creating space to focus on the breath is a simple self-care method but can do wonders on stabilizing yourself if the intensity of a caregiving moment has gotten the best of you. Mobile apps like the Calm App can provide guided meditations for you to find a bit of respite in the midst of a busy day.

 Routine Eating

While it’s sometimes burdensome finding a routine within a caregiving schedule, carving out the time to have healthy, balanced meals are a boon to your energy levels and mood throughout the week. Meal delivery services like Blue Apron can cut down on prep time for what you eat and help you get your eating schedule back on track.


While it may be difficult to prioritize getting enough sleep with the round-the-clock care caregiving may require, finding the time to rest at least 8 hours a night is necessary to keep your fatigue at bay and maintain a quality standard of life. If possible, hiring outside help some days of the week to help you catch up on sleep may be necessary to keep your life in balance.

 Stay Hydrated

Caregiving can be physically demanding work, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Around 16 cups of water a day is recommended for men, and around 12 cups for women. Hydration not only keeps your body running smoothly, but also can decrease stress and anxiety levels.


You don’t have to be a long-distance runner to stay healthy! Even if it’s a 30 minute walk every day, making sure that you’re still active is an important part of self-care. If your Senior is still physically capable, include some physical activity in both your routines!

 Ask For Help

Self-care is all about knowing your own limitations, so if you need additional assistance—whether it’s hired help or joining a caregiving support group—don’t be afraid to get involved. Caregiving can be physically and emotionally demanding; utilize all the resources you can to support both you and your Senior.

 Stay Connected

While your Senior is a huge part of your life, make sure you’re also making space for people outside of the caregiving circle! Maintaining social connections is crucial for your own emotional fulfillment, as well as serving as a pick-me-up if you’re feeling low.

Make Home Your Home

Try to get as much natural lighting at home as possible during the day for a mood boost! Open the blinds, or even open a window to let some fresh air in. Buy houseplants or décor that’s calming and comforting. Light candles for some soothing scents and maintain an organized space. Make your home a place for both you and your Senior that is cathartic as possible.


While showering daily, brushing your teeth, and self-grooming are important for your self-esteem and wellbeing, make self-care fun! Buy some facemasks and have a spa day in with your Senior; buy some bath bombs and enjoy getting clean.

 Minimize Caffeine

While coffee can be a quick way to gain energy, make sure you’re not overdoing it. Too much coffee can lead to anxiety and dehydration. The Mayo clinic recommends no more than 400 mg of caffeine a day.

 Treat Yourself

Whether it’s getting a massage or a cool gadget you’ve had your eye on, make sure you reward yourself for all your hard work! Finding the time to do things for yourself can go a long way.


Reading is an easy activity to do with your Senior; carve out some hours in the day for you both to do some reading together. It’s stimulating for the mind and can help improve memory retention for your Senior. If they aren’t able to read on their own, there’s always audiobooks. Amazon’s Audible is a great service to start with.

Order Food In

If there’s a day where you don’t feel like cooking, don’t hesitate to utilize some takeout delivery services like Uber Eats or Postmates. It can be a fun treat for both you and your Senior to have some tasty local options delivered directly to your door.

 Take Breaks

While Caregiving often requires your full attention, try to find the time to do something for yourself when you can. Sleep is important, but relaxing while you’re awake also helps you find the energy to perform when you’re on-duty. Find a show that you enjoy to binge when you can, or if you enjoy painting make a masterpiece in your spare time.

 Have a Care Plan in Place

With Generationally Prepared’s resources, we hope you can build a system of support that’s ready to withstand all of life’s unexpected events. You’ll be able to practice self-care more holistically if all the emergencies and contingencies are accounted for. Taking the time to get prepared is the first step towards a more relaxing, purpose-driven relationship with your Senior.

Get Outside

Even if it’s for a few moments, getting outside is a quick hack to lift self-esteem and general mood. Fresh air can do wonders for your sleep cycle, for both you and your Senior.

 Minimize Electronics at Night

If you’re having difficulty getting to sleep, try to minimize electronics usage after dinner. Unplugging from social media apps and outside distractions can help with winding down from a busy day with your Senior.

 Therapy/Mental Health Support

While self-care advice can help with general feelings of anxiety and dissatisfaction, if you’re having more acute symptoms of stress and depression, reaching out to a qualified individual is important to maintaining your mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Dealing with the transition of being a Caregiver can get overwhelming—take advantage of professionals whose only job is to find the best way to support you.


Even if it’s for 10 minutes, making the time to journal can help you process your feelings and emotions after a long day, as well as a marker of how far you’ve come. Write down positive affirmations about yourself, self-compassionate mantras, or desires for the future. When you look back at the entries you can see your own development over time as a Caregiver and as a person with their own needs.

 Yoga/Meditation Practices

Finding the space to breath properly throughout the day, as we discussed earlier, can also go hand-in-hand with finding a more advanced meditative practice like Yoga. Classes can be taken locally, but there’s plenty of resources online for Yoga lessons you can perform at home. Finding a way to meditate and rest your mind will let you be a more mindful Caregiver to your Senior.

 Fun With Your Senior

Your Senior also needs self-care and emotional regulation, so if it’s finding a board game you both enjoy or a puzzle your Senior loves, make sure you’re spending some quality fun time with your loved one. They’ll appreciate the time to relax and enjoy themselves, making memories that both of you will cherish.


There are many ways to practice self-care, so finding the tips and tricks that work for your own individual lifestyle is key to your wellbeing. There isn’t a one-size-fits all approach to what works for you. Yoga may not be your cup of tea, but maybe walking outdoors is. Finding balance within your lifestyle will help you be a better Caregiver, one capable of dealing with the stressors and uncertainties that come with taking care of someone. If some of these tips are helpful to you, practice them with your Senior! Self-care is for everyone. Hopefully this list is a kickstart to reclaiming your own regulation as a Caregiver and improves your quality of life.

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