Caregiver fatigue or burnout can be corrected with a self-care treatment plan and a supportive network. When your child has physical or emotional special needs, you may struggle to maintain your own physical and emotional strength. When the hours of your days and nights are full of work, family responsibilities, and the specific needs of your children, there's a growing possibility that you'll experience caregiver fatigue. Here are some tips and resources to help you cope with the stress of being a caregiver.
Recognize the Signs
The symptoms of caregiver fatigue include exhaustion and depression. Ask yourself questions to recognize and evaluate your situation:
These questions and others can help you assess your mental and physical help. If the answers to these questions show a high level of fatigue, experts agree that it's important that you focus on self-care.
Prioritize Your Health
Parents of children with special needs often feel guilty about focusing on their own well-being. It's important to understand that neglecting your own health makes it harder for you to provide the safe, loving home environment you want to maintain. What are the obstacles you face in getting enough sleep, eating a nourishing diet, and getting physical exercise? Who can help you with those obstacles? What changes do you have control over?
Give special attention to the health of your home. If you’re feeling stressed and unfocused, a disorganized home could be part of the reason. Create a stress-free environment by organizing, decluttering, adding some indoor plants, and letting in more natural light.
Self-care is essential to maintaining a sustainable, happy, and healthy lifestyle. Taking time out of your daily routine to relax and focus on yourself will allow you time to step back, reflect and become self-aware. Use this time to check-in with yourself and ask yourself questions such as;
You’ll be surprised at how much you will discover by taking time to self-reflect and assess your mind, body, and soul. Mindfulness will help you identify if you’re stressed out and what exactly is causing this problem. So rather than always try to alleviate stress in your life, it’s time to discover the root of the problem. To make sure you invest in self-awareness and self-care, book a regular massage with North London Massage Therapy now.
Millions of people do not get enough sleep to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A study in the USA by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) revealed that at least 60% of adults report having sleep problems at least several nights a week, and as many as 69% of children experiencing the same issues.
There are a variety of ways you can help to improve your sleep. Massage therapy can help improve sleep in two primary ways. The first is through alleviating stress. Stress is known to affect sleep, with massage reducing stress by decreasing cortisol (a hormone associated with stress). The other way that massage can help with sleep is by managing pain and tension caused by stress or injury. Pain and sleep loss can exacerbate one another, leading to a vicious cycle.
Another big factor is your diet. Try to avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of sleeping. Stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine are proven to negatively affect your quality of sleep, as well as alcohol which plays a role in disrupting your sleep throughout the night. Exercise and physical activity are also important for sleep, especially regular physical activity throughout the week. Multiple studies have documented how moderate-to-vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality in adults.
Meditation and a healthy bedtime routine also play positive roles in helping you to sleep better. Meditation can help to reduce your levels of anxiety, whilst avoiding prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime can increase your brain’s production of the much-needed melatonin to aid healthy sleep.
It is important to take your sleep health seriously and commit to healthy habits in order to give yourself the best sleep you can. Poor quality sleep affects everything else, so it makes sense to invest in your sleep health in order to generally feel healthier.
Most of us will know that sleep is an essential part of our daily lives. However, how many of you know exactly why this is and what sleep actually does to help your body function?
Today you’re going to find out a lot more about your sleep than you may have once known!
On a basic and fundamental level, sleep keeps us alive. Without sleep, we would struggle increasingly to complete even the simplest tasks. Sleep is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Scientists often describe sleep as a recharging station for our bodies and minds, a way of recovering from any mental and physical exertion experienced in the day.
The majority of adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep, whilst children and adolescents need between eight to eleven hours. Children require more sleep as they are still in the process of growing physically and mentally, which sleep helps them to do.
Without enough sleep our brains struggle to work properly, affecting our concentration levels, thinking, and processing of memories. Some studies have shown that a consistent lack of sleep is linked to higher risk of certain health issues, including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, as well as early death. Healthier sleeping habits can help to lower the risk of contracting these diseases and health conditions.
A hormone you may have heard of in reference to sleep is Melatonin. This hormone plays a vital role in your body’s sleep cycle. Melatonin is produced in the brain’s pineal gland and released into your blood stream. The pineal gland starts producing melatonin when it becomes dark and stops when it becomes light. This helps our bodies to synchronise with the natural sunlight hours of the day.
An internal ‘body clock’ manages your sleep cycle and is in control of both when you feel tired and when you feel alert and ready for the day. This internal body clock runs on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that happen within this 24-hour cycle. Circadian rhythms respond primarily to light and dark and affects most living things on earth.
We are primarily governed by our work schedules and alarm clocks to meet the demands of the society we live in. However, this comes at a cost. If you ignore your internal clock you can slip into bad habits and will find yourself out of sync with your body. This can lead to unhealthy sleep habits and an inability to fall asleep when you need to.
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Exercise is not just important for your physical health. Research shows that exercise is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical body. Exercising causes the body to produce chemicals, such as serotonin, which make you feel good. This can help people who struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Exercise has also been shown to reduce feelings of low self-esteem and social withdrawal. It relieves tension and stress and is an effective way to boost your mood when you are feeling low. It is particularly important to continue exercising throughout the winter months. Shorter days = less sunlight, which means less access to natural sources of vitamin D. This can cause fatigue, something which exercise can help to combat, as well as helping you to get outside and expose yourself to that much needed vitamin D.
Make 2022 the year you take control of your health. And, as you now know, exercise is a great place to start looking after your body and your health.
Exercise is an extremely important part of daily life. Physical activity strengthens your heart and improves circulation. Proper circulation is important for ensuring enough blood and oxygen are continuously flowing throughout the body, allowing your organs to function at their best. This helps wounds heal faster and keep your brain sharp and active.
It goes without saying that your heart is a vital organ and without sufficient circulation, the heart must pump harder to get enough blood and oxygen around the body. Exercising also delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, giving you more energy throughout the day. Without it, you may find you don’t have enough energy to carry out simple tasks.
More seriously, not getting enough exercise can be potentially life threatening in the long run. It can lead to heart disease, even if you do not have any other risk factors, as well as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Exercising can have many positive long-lasting effects. Osteoporosis, a condition which occurs when the bones are weakened, can affect people as they age. Weight-bearing exercise, such as running, hiking and jumping, can help keep bones strong and is an important preventive measure against Osteoporosis.
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Massage therapy encourages a chemical reaction to take place, as the therapist applies pressure to your muscles and increases the neuro-hormone known as serotonin. This chemical release makes you feel happier and also sparks your body’s natural use of melatonin, which actually regulates your sleep cycle (check out the blog below on sleep). So by choosing a massage as your form of self-care you can reduce your levels of stress as well as turn off your body’s fight or flight (stress) response which is probably what’s keeping you awake at night.
The benefits of a good quality of sleep are widely publicised... But if you’re aware that you’re not sleeping well, what can you do? Well, massage therapy a wonderful way to promote a high-quality of sleep, as well as treat insomnia. Massage therapy almost forces you to take a moment away from screens and social media and just focus on relaxation. Relieving pain and discomfort, whether it’s from a sports injury or a chronic illness, a regular massage will help you to feel more comfortable when it comes to bedtime.
To develop self-awareness, you need to be in-tune with your body and this can be difficult, especially if you’re a bit of a workaholic. While your mind is occupied with a magnitude of tasks, it can be all too easy to forget to invest in self-care and check in with your physical self. At North London Massage Therapy, we can uncover poor posture, muscle fatigue, and tension by applying pressure to alleviate acid build-up in the muscles.
During a massage, your therapist will be able to identify whether you are tense and if you are, where stress accumulates in your body. Some people are prone to slouching and arching forward, whereas others can start to tense their jaw and suffer from Bruxism which can cause pressure and strain on the muscles around the head, neck, and upper back. Your therapist will be able to guide you on whether you are struggling with poor posture and how to correct these issues moving forward.
Taking time to access your physical health through massage therapy, you can improve your life and enhance your mental and physical health.
Massage therapy can help you to develop a new level of self-awareness and improve your mental and physical health and well-being. By being aware of how you hold your body, how your daily routine can take its toll on your mind, and how stress can physically and negatively impact you, is important to leading a happy and healthy lifestyle.