Most caregivers do an outstanding job of caring for their loved one. However, many of them do not take any time for themselves to relax or do anything pleasurable. This can cause them to become physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually depleted. If this sounds like you, then today we’re going to explore how and why you should make a “rest and renew” activity list.
Why Self-Care for Caregivers Matters
As a caregiver, you may see setting aside time for self-care as a low-priority task - it may feel that you just don’t have time for it. But there’s a benefit to self-care for your loved one as well. The more at peace, recharged, hydrated, calm, healthy, etc. that you are, the more mental and physical energy you’ll have to devote to the care of your loved one.
If taking care of yourself takes an hour a day, that hour spent will be repaid with interest, as you’ll forget fewer tasks, get things done more efficiently, and have more energy at the end of the day. “Self-care isn’t selfish” couldn’t be more true, especially for you as a caregiver.
What is a “Rest and Renew” Activity List?
There will be times, especially in the beginning as you look to incorporate self-care, that you’re going to struggle to think of something you’d enjoy. Or even if you can think of something you’d enjoy doing to unwind, you may not create the time to do that thing each day. A “Rest and Renew” activity list looks to solve both of these problems in a simple and straightforward way.
How Do You Make One?
Making a “Rest and Renew” activity list is simple, just two steps.
Step One: Brainstorm
First, start with a piece of paper - jot down as many activities as you can think of that would bring you joy, rest, a physical or mental break, or anything that just feels kind to yourself.
Some examples: going for a walk, painting, gardening, singing, reading, yoga, taking a nap, having a bubble bath, calling a trusted friend, candlemaking, ordering takeout, etc.
Here’s a more exhaustive list of self-care ideas and activities you can use to find a good group of activities you enjoy.
Once you have 10-20 ideas jotted down, you’ll move on to step two.
Step Two: Plan
Grab a calendar, your cell phone calendar, or just another piece of paper, and plan out one activity each day that you’ll complete just for yourself.
Plan out the full week by writing down which activity you’ll do on which day, and if possible, add a time as well. The best time is whenever you’ll be least likely to forget. For most of us, that time is at the very beginning or end of the day, but choose whatever time works best for you.
By scheduling the activity, date, and time for yourself, you’ll be less tempted to skip it in favor of something else because it is already on your schedule.
Self-care isn’t selfish - it’s an investment that will pay you back with interest in productivity, your physical and mental health, and the quality of care you’re able to provide as a result. We hope you found the Rest and Renew Activity List to be a helpful tool that helps you accomplish this goal.
For further reading and resources, we invite you to check out our library of information for family caregivers by clicking here. You are also welcome to give us a call at 800-543-8312 to find out more about how we can support you in your caregiving journey.