Physical self-care for home care aides

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Posted by Eva Owens

Being a home care aide can be a physically demanding job, no matter who your client is. Here are a few simple steps you can take to take care of yourself on the job:

Make time to exercise

30 minutes of exercise each day will bolster your energy and stamina on the job, and has all sorts of positive benefits. It can lead to better sleep, combat depression and low self-esteem, lower the risk of some diseases, and help you age well.

Here are some simple exercises you can do around the house:

  • Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks
  • While you’re cooking dinner, do standing push-ups — stand an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, push your arms against the counter, and push in and out
  • Build in 10 minutes before you leave in the morning or after you return home for a brisk walk around the block
  • If you’re watching TV, jog in place during commercials

And there are many online resources to help you exercise with no additional equipment.

Eat healthy

Simple changes to your diet can make a world of difference, but there are so many elaborate diet plans and conflicting health advice that it can be hard to know where to start. Consider Michael Pollan’s simple advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Avoiding highly processed food, foods with lots of added fat and sugar, too much meat or refined grains can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Some simple tips to get started:

  • Make a grocery list and stick to it
  • Buy more green vegetables that you don’t need to cook to enjoy
  • Look for the “Whole Grain Stamp” on packaging or use ingredients like whole grain, brown rice and oats
  • Replace sweetened beverages with water, seltzer and fresh fruit or iced tea
  • If you have a sweet tooth, opt for naturally sweet fruit
  • If you snack on chips or other snack foods, don’t eat them out of the bag — transfer them to single-serving plastic baggies or reusable containers
  • Opt for smaller portions — even use a smaller plate
  • Put your fork down between bites. Our bodies don’t immediately realize we’re full so it’s easy to overeat

Schedule annual checkups and health screenings

We can’t know what we don’t know, so working with a doctor outside times of crisis is an important step to taking care of yourself.

Sleep

Few things are as important to our health than sleeping, but between stress and computers in the palm of our hands, sleep can easily get away from us. If you are experiencing problems sleeping, consult with a doctor for advice.

Carina also wants to take the stress out of finding a new client, or help you add more hours to take advantage of health care benefits. Sign up for Carina today.

Check out our other self-care blog posts:

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