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Daughter (left) and mother (right) embracing.

Self-Care for Caregivers: 5 Tips

At Holland Bloorview we’re always talking about self-care, and we know it’s a topic that’s especially important for caregivers whose days are filled caring for their child, heading to appointments, navigating the healthcare system, and much more.

In order to take care of everyone else, it’s equally as important that you take care of you. So here are 5 self-care tips to help you make sure you’re fully charged and ready to show up for the people that you love:

1.    Do what you love. 

Some minutes are better than no minutes. Whether it’s reading a couple pages of your book, talking to a friend, going on a bike ride, eating something delicious, or cozying up on the couch, be sure you’re finding a couple of moments with yourself. It’s easy to justify skipping you-time especially if it feels minimal, but you’d be surprised on what just 10 minutes of indulging in your favourite activity will do for your mood. 

2.    Talk to a professional. 

It’s important that you take time to offload and digest all the things you have going on. If you’re someone who is taking care of someone else, it’s crucial that you also have someone to talk to. There are plenty of resources to help you maintain your mental health. Be sure to check them out! 

3.    Use the tools in your box. 

There are so many resources crafted to support you in supporting your loved ones. With everything from respite programs to support groups, make sure you know about and are using the tools designed to make your life easier. 

4.    Rest up. 

Nothing is going magically become less exhausting if you get less sleep. While it can be hard to fall asleep, when you know you’ve got a long to-do list, if you can manage to get a proper rest you’ll come back with more energy than you otherwise would. Apps like calm and headspace have great mediations to help you drift into sweet dreams.    

5.    Practice Self Compassion. 

You have a lot going on! Recognize that you can’t do it all on your own and that’s why you have supports around you. Journal, meditate, and take a minute to sit with what is, and appreciate all that you are able to accomplish. Here are self-compassion mediations and exercises for you to explore.