Like the airline safety procedure where we must put the oxygen mask on ourselves before assisting others, we must love and care for ourselves enough first before loving others into their best selves. How do we do this? It is easier said than done for sure, but with a few tips shared here, I am certain you will find a way.
I believe the foundation of all healthy caregivers is through real, whole foods, lots of clean water, and movement that supports the work you will do for others.
For me, it all begins with food. When I feed the very center of each cell with nutrient dense foods, my body and brain function at a high level. I can think clearly, move easily, and have energy for long days and nights. Nutrient dense foods include healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, raw nuts, raw seeds, wild caught fish, pastured eggs, 100 percent raw chocolate, and meats that are 100 percent grass fed. I always look for grass fed, raw butter too. For nutrient dense carbohydrates, I look to vegetables. I focus on dark, leafy greens, fibrous cruciferous vegetables, and organic varieties when they are on sale. For nutrient dense proteins, I eat wild seafood, wild fish, nitrate free, organic deli meats, and pastured animal products. The fats eaten alongside the vegetables allow for a higher absorption rate of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals found inside.
The easiest meal plan includes the use of a crockpot or slow cooker. Add the proteins, carbs, and fats of choice, sprinkle in herbs and spices, and at the end of the day a delicious and nutritious meal or meals are ready! The slow cooking leaches out the collagen and proteins, as well as the good fats. Our body can easily absorb them in soups and stews. The softer stews and soups are easily eaten by even the most fragile members of our family.
Water is is key for the caregiver too. We see lots of caregivers making certain their charges are not dehydrated, but are too busy to drink water themselves. Drink lots of water, at least a half gallon daily. To make it more fun and palatable, add fruits or veggies to the water to create unique infusions.
If the caregiver lifts the patient physically, he or she must be strong and flexible. I suggest adding yoga, weight training, and squats to the daily routine. There are even free programs on cable television channels for all of these exercises, so even if stuck at home, there are no excuses!
Now tell me, are you a caregiver? What are your daily duties? Do you take time for yourself? It is important to take breaks and call in the support teams when necessary. You have a life too. Caregiving will go better when you feel like you are honoring your own soul and human self too.
I want to hear from you!