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.