5 Tips for Caregivers Working Outside the Home by Hope For The Warriors Caregivers
We all know life is full of obstacles. Sometimes obstacles include being a caregiver who works outside the home. Not all caregivers have a job that allows them to work from home, therefore adding to anxiety a caregiver feels whenever they leave their house. Here are five tips, for caregivers, to keep structure and stay sane when working outside the home.
1| Organization is the key to success and sanity.
Stay in Command of your life with a Command Center
A Command Center is a small area on a wall where you keep all your important information using a calendar, a basket, file folders, a cork board, or a white board. It is placed in an area you are frequently in, such as your kitchen or living room.
You can create a calendar in your command center with color coordinated events for each family member, appointment type, bills, or reminders. A command center is also a great place to hang to do list, grocery lists, or chore charts for the kids…or that “honey to do list” for your veteran
There’s an app for that! Use Calendar & Organization Apps
- If you have a smart phone, use your iPhone or Android Calendar that is already installed on your phone. You can set up family sharing through your calendar which allows you to keep everyone up to date on upcoming events and appointments.
- Another calendar option for your smart phone is Cozi Calendar. Use the Cozi Calendar app to organize family schedules, activities and events, track grocery lists, manage to-do lists, plan dinner, and save recipes. You also can share all this information with the rest of the family to keep everyone on the same page.
- OneNote is an app for gathering information such as handwritten or typed notes, drawings, pictures, audio notes and for collaborating with other users, making it a great up for saving miscellaneous information like updates for your doctor or love notes for a rainy day.
- Medisafe is an app for medication management. It allows you to set reminders for medication and track whether the medication was taken. It also syncs with other users such as family, friends, and caregivers to aid in safe and timely care.
Prep or Batch Your Tasks For The Week
Batching is the process of grouping similar tasks and completing those tasks together rather than completing them throughout the week at separate times to maximize productivity and efficiency. Here are a few things that you can batch to prepare for the week.
- Schedule your meals out for the entire week on Sunday.
- Grocery shop for all your meals on Sunday.
- Meal prep for the week on Sunday. Crockpot meals can be a life saver after long days in the office!
- Plan your outfits for the week
- Prep medications for the entire week.Make sure calendars are up-to-date for the week on Sunday.
2| Follow Morning and Nighttime Rituals
In the words of U.S. Army Veteran, Chad McDonald, “predictability is comforting.” Studies show that following morning and nighttime rituals, like making your bed in the morning and doing stretches at night before bed, can help you manage stress and free up headspace. In other words, repetitive behavior can reduce stress and induce calm. So, find your daily rituals and experience the calming effects of repetitive activities.
3| Schedule Time For You
Although working outside of the home means you get a small break from the chaos of being at home, we all know it’s not a break because you’re at work! Don’t forget to schedule in some leisure time for both mental and physical wellness! Take five minutes to
meditate, 30 minutes to go for a walk/run, or an hour to go to yoga. Ensuring your physical and mental wellness will help to ensure the health and wellness of your family.
Caregivers, Treat Yo Self! Go out to lunch by yourself or with a friend, take a spa day, get yourself a caramel mocha macchiato from Starbucks, or spend some time binge watching Parks & Rec on Netflix!
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Remember, taking time for yourself isn’t selfish! Taking time for yourself will refresh you and allow you to keep up with daily responsibilities.
4| Protect your “Sleep Time”
We’ve all heard that when you don’t get enough sleep you increase the risk of health problems. What you may not have heard so much about is the effect sleep deprivation has on your mental health. With increased risk to anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, and loss of emotion regulation, you should protect your sleep time and get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Read more about the correlation between sleep deprivation and mental health.
Continue reading US News “Are Sleep Problems Affecting Your Mental Health”.
5| In the words of Admiral McRaven, “Always make your bed!”
Naval Admiral William H. McRaven, Ninth Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command says that making your bed each morning is one of those little things you can learn to do that will transcend to a lot of other things you do. It’s the first small task you can do to start the day off right and practicing this ritual will help you do the big things right.
If you or someone you know is a caregiver, please apply or have them apply for our caregiver services.