Show Yourself Some Love: Self-Care for Caregivers

As we continue to see care trends shift to favor in-home care, caregivers are being stretched thin. Caregiving can be incredibly rewarding but it also comes with a great deal of stress and emotional exhaustion.

What is in-home care?

In-home is just what it sounds like– palliative or hospice care provided in the safety and comfort of a patient’s home. Usually, this involves day-to-day care from someone in the patient’s family, coupled with regular visits from members of a care team based on their specific needs.

There are many benefits to in-home care, like allowing family members to remain accessible and present throughout a patient’s care and being there to say goodbye if a patient’s condition worsens. However, being a caregiver can be incredibly emotionally taxing. We have several resources for preventing burnout and for finding work-life balance as a caregiver. If you are providing care for a loved one, it’s important to learn how to take care of yourself, too. One way that you can practice self-care is through journaling.

Ways A Self-Care Journal Benefits Caregivers

Keeping a self-care journal is simple and can provide great benefits to caregivers, giving them an outlet to process their emotions and take time for themselves. Here are some ways journaling can be a form of self-care:

Simple and straightforward

When you’re already feeling overwhelmed, finding time for yourself can be difficult. Journaling can be a very simple way to carve out a few moments in your day. Whether it’s classic pen and paper, a laptop, or just jotting down your feelings in the notes app on your phone – you can find a way to journal that doesn’t feel like a chore.

Time to reflect

Dedicating time to a self-care journal allows you to consistently take quiet time to yourself each day. Life gets very busy managing an illness, and it’s often difficult to find time to sit with your thoughts. We recommend finding a quiet time in your schedule and dedicating it to journaling. This could be right when you wake up or as the last thing you do before you go to bed.

Finding gratitude

When dealing with an illness or caring for a friend or family member, it can be easy to get bogged down with negative emotions. Use a portion of your journal time to write down a few positive things that happened recently. This can help put things in perspective and help you focus on the good.

Exploring your feelings without judgment

Your feelings are valid. It’s easy to feel stressed, sad, or upset, even if you can’t pinpoint a reason. Journaling allows you to express anything you want to say without judgment. This is particularly important for caregivers, who often face guilt and other complicated feelings throughout their care journey.

No right-size-fits-all

The great thing about journaling is that it’s for you. Journaling can flow from your needs in the moment– whether that’s a brain dump, a poem, a letter to yourself, or just a recap of your day. You don’t have to worry about perfect writing or grammar, you can doodle in the margins, and scribble out words without worrying about someone else seeing. Journaling gives you freedom of self-expression.

Hospice of Southwest Ohio Is Here For You

Need extra support? Consider respite care through in-home care services or adult day centers. At Hospice of Southwest Ohio, respite care is offered in our Hospice Care Center located in Madeira or can be arranged in a community nursing center. Learn more about our respite care services.

Hospice of Southwest Ohio offers hospice, palliative, and in-home primary care in and around the greater Cincinnati area in Clermont County, Butler County, Warren County, Hamilton County, Greene County, and Montgomery County. Call today at (513) 770-0820.

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