Caregivers are highly susceptible to feelings of depression. They perform a difficult job that often leaves them with little time to sleep or meet their own needs. When you feel your emotional health decreasing, you need to start taking care of yourself. Here are a few ways you can manage caregiving-related depression.
Recognize the Signs of Depression
The first step is admitting something is wrong. If you don’t realize you’re experiencing depression, you can’t take steps to mitigate it. Common signs of caregiver depression include withdrawal, irritability, changes in sleep habits, and limited concentration. These symptoms may also be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and dissatisfaction. If you experience these or other signs of depression, it’s time to make some positive changes.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your caregiving duties are making you feel emotionally exhausted. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality non-medical in-home care, Palm Desert Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Increase Physical Health
Many caregivers neglect their own health while providing care for their loved ones. If you don’t look after your physical health, it could negatively impact your overall wellbeing. Make time for exercise, as regular cardiovascular activity can stabilize the production of the hormones that cause stress and happiness. Exercise can also help you stay energized during the day and get sufficient rest at night.
Make Dietary Changes
Caregivers should also pay attention to their diet. Many caregivers develop bad dietary habits as a result of their busy schedule and caregiving-induced anxiety. They skip meals and snack on unhealthy foods. Choosing the right foods can keep you mentally and physically healthier. To make it through a long day of caregiving, opt for foods that provide steady energy rather than a quick burst of energy. Lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and nuts are all excellent energy-boosting options.
Stay Socially Engaged
Caregivers shouldn’t withdraw from their friends and families. Your social circle can provide moral support when things get rough, as well as an escape when caregiving responsibilities become overwhelming. If you become too isolated, you may bottle up your emotions, which could negatively impact your emotional health. When surrounded by a strong network of friends, you’re more likely to feel happy, supported, and emotionally fulfilled.
Ask for Help
Depression may be the body’s way of telling caregivers they’re working too hard. When you start feeling down, don’t feel guilty about asking for help. Reach out to other family members and ask them for assistance. Assigning family members small tasks like prescription runs and grocery shopping could make a big difference in your weekly schedule. You can also hire an in-home respite caregiver to make home visits so you can get some much-needed time off.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Palm Desert, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.
See a Professional
Sometimes making positive changes isn’t enough to manage depression. If you change your habits for the better but still feel depressed, seek professional help. Therapists, psychiatrists, and support groups can provide the treatment you need to effectively manage your emotional health.
By hiring professional caregivers, family members can take time to relax and reduce their risk of experiencing depression. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Palm Desert, California, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (760) 345-0001.