Caregivers Can Put Pep In Their Step

May 30, 2014
Caregiver fatigue can be lessened with good nutrition and healthy habits

Caregiver fatigue can be lessened with good nutrition and healthy habits

Low energy.  Lack of ability to concentrate.  A general feeling of grumpiness.  Bone weary from the top of one’s head to the tip of one’s toes.  Serving as a caregiver can be an exhausting job and it’s easy to lose energy and pep long before the sun sets each evening.  Here are a few energy tips for home caregivers to put a bit of pep in their step during a busy day.

  • Snack right. When your energy lags, eat something that can give back a little get-up-and-go. Too often, home caregivers (and others) reach for a sugar-filled “pick-me-up” for the quick energy boost it can give; unfortunately, the effects can wear off quickly and leave them feeling even more tired than before. Instead, have on hand a number of healthy alternatives that mix proteins and complex carbohydrates, such as a peanut butter sandwich made with whole wheat bread. The peanut butter provides the protein, the whole wheat bread the complex carbohydrates, and the mix is likely to provide a longer lasting boost.  Or, a small handful of walnuts provides a quick burst of energy.
  • Hit the showers. A nice cold shower can be an invigorating experience that really wakes the body up and gets the mental processes racing again as well. If there’s no time for a full shower, splash cold water on your face and let cold water run over your wrists.
  • Concentrate on one thing. Society’s emphasis on multitasking is not a good thing; studies are beginning to show that multitasking is much less efficient and effective than doing one thing at a time well. It also tends to drain energy more quickly. Home caregivers will benefit by keeping a list of things that need to be done but concentrating their energies on one task at a time.
  • Stay hydrated. Even slight dehydration has a big impact on energy levels, so home caregivers should drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Meditate. When there are a hundred things on your plate, it may seem counterintuitive to take a break and meditate, yet studies show that this can be a big energy booster. Even if all that you can manage is five minutes of focused meditation, the results can be significant.
  • Sniff a lemon. The strong smell of lemon is a stimulus and can help re-focus your energy.

 

Energy is a precious gift to home caregivers; learning how to best utilize resources to keep your energy at an appropriate level will make the day go much more smoothly.

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