Revitalize and Recharge: The Key to Self-Care for Caregivers



Robin Sherman with his family

So many of us are caring for small children or an aging family member. Add on top of that the pressures and logistics of everyday life, and it’s easy to imagine how quickly we can become depleted and overwhelmed. It’s critical for caregivers to find ways of replenishing their reserves proactively and purposefully. We recently sat down with Robin Sherman, LCSW, with Northern Light Home Care and Hospice to chat more about self-care for the caregivers.



Q: What are the risks to caregivers who neglect their own care?

The most obvious risk to neglecting self-care, I feel, is burnout which can have all sorts of implications for the level of care we are able to provide and the overall quality of our own lives. When a caregiver isn’t practicing self-care, unhealthy forms of coping may begin to take hold (increased alcohol use, disordered eating habits for example) which ultimately can have far reaching, long term health consequences. 


Q: Does self-care go beyond massages and pedicures?

Traditionally, we think of self-care as making the time for activities that give us pleasure, but I think it can also take the form of making space during the working day to mindfully engage in a way that is restorative; the natural world is a great platform for this type of exercise and a readily accessible one for most caregivers.

Self-care can also mean creating healthy boundaries the allow us to unplug from our job and caregiving responsibilities. This designated downtime helps us recharge our proverbial physical and emotional batteries. By stepping away from these tasks, we can nurture our own well-being, ultimately enhancing our ability to compassionately care for our loved one, family, and friends.


Q: How can prioritizing self-care positively affect the people being cared for?

Finding a way to recharge allows us to bring our best self to the person we’re caring for. A fresh perspective enhances our patience and our ability to see the person as an individual. When we are caring for ourselves, we’re able to find purpose more easily in the care we provide others and joy in the time we share together.


Know a caregiver who could use these tips? Share it with them now.