We want to introduce you to June Duncan, author of a new and soon to be released book entitled The Complete Guide to Caregiving: A Daily Companion for New Senior Caregivers.
Taking an excerpt from her upcoming book, June presents a great One Hour Power Routine for Caregiver Health and Wellness.
As someone who provides continuous care for an aging parent, ill spouse, or disabled child, it can be difficult to focus on your own health and happiness. But you can squeeze a few important things into your day by practicing these simple self-care techniques in between your other obligations.
Start your day without clutter. (5 minutes)
If you want to feel like you’ve accomplished something just for you, start each day by simply making your bed. It only takes a few minutes but will leave you with a sense of achievement all day. This will boost your mood and give you the encouragement to tackle other tasks. And, starting the day without mess alleviates stress, which is good for your health overall.
Get your blood pumping before you leave your bed room. (10 minutes)
You need an average of 120 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity each week in order to keep your heart and lungs in tip-top shape. You can knock out more than half of that by starting your day with an easy, 10-minute workout you can do in your pajamas without any special equipment.
Invest in your oral hygiene. (5 Minutes)
You know you need to brush your teeth to prevent cavities, but your oral health is about more than just pearly white and fresh breath. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body…it’s also where billions of bacteria lurk and linger. Failure to evict the dangerous germs can lead to more than just a yellow smile. Colgate’s Oral Care Center explains that establishing a dental care routine — brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash twice daily — may help reduce your chances of diabetic complications, respiratory infections, and dementia.
Plan and pack snacks that offer sustained energy. (5 Minutes)
Even if you provide care in your own home, you likely don’t take the time to sit down and eat like you should. Thankfully, your local grocery store is full of easy-to-pack snacks that provide sustained energy and won’t leave you longing for dinner. Avocados and crackers, peanut butter and banana toast, and trail mix are all quick fixes for hunger recommended by EatThis.com.
Spend a moment in the sun. (10 minutes)
The sun isn’t just a source of light. Its rays stimulate the production of Vitamin D, a vitamin responsible for healthy bones and teeth; vitamin D also boosts the immune system, according to the University of Florida. A deficit of this necessary nutrient can lead to brittle bones and, as some studies suggest, an increased risk of heart attack. Just 10 minutes soaking up the sun will help your body produce enough Vitamin D to keep you healthy and strong.
Connect with loved ones (10 Minutes)
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, but often gets pushed even further under the proverbial rug. Isolation can hurt you from the inside out, causing depression and a host of other mental health disorders. An easy way to waylay emotional decay: call a friend or relative once a day. Having a good support system is paramount to your health and wellbeing, even if you can’t chat for hours on end or indulge in weekly social outings.
Feed your brain (15 minutes)
Reading for just 15 minutes per day will expose your brain to more than 10,000 words… words that could potentially stave off Alzheimer’s, insomnia, and depression. HuffPost reports that it takes an average of just six minutes for reading to have a positive effect on your mind and body by allowing you to relax. The Mayo Clinic notes that relaxation reduces stress hormone production, improves digestion, and can elevate your ability to concentrate.
Will an hour each day change your life? Maybe not. But it will get you pointed in the right direction toward tending to your own mental, physical, emotional, and social needs.
Author and Caregiver