OnPulse would like to shine the spotlight on you, the caregiver. Parenting can be overwhelming and stressful under the best of circumstances, but parents of children with mental health challenges often deal with stress of a whole other magnitude. Caring for a child with mental health challenges can sometimes become a full-time job and an overwhelming one at that, especially when you don’t have a close support system. Without support, parents may be headed down the path of “caregiver burnout”, which is not good for anyone. Therefore, it is so important to take time to care for yourself and to find the strength to ask for help when its needed. Caregivers become immersed with the needs of others and they often forget to take into account their own emotional and physical health. I know what you’re thinking…when do I have time to take care of myself? Selfcare does not have to be hours at the spa or a week-long vacation. Think small and do it daily, until it becomes a habit and you don’t think twice about it. Here are some simple self-care tips that are vital to avoiding “caregiver burnout”: 1) Get enough sleep every night. Easier said than done, but sleep deprivation makes us irritable and we tend to react negatively to minor annoyances. Here are a few tips to fall asleep faster or to fall back asleep when you wake up in the middle of the night:
1. Lower the room temperature. If your room is too warm, you might have a hard time falling asleep. Setting your thermostat to a cool temperature between 68 — 72 degrees could help.
2. Hide your clock. Watching the clock only increases anxiety about falling asleep.
3. Focus on trying to stay awake. Nothing like some good old-fashioned reverse psychology.
4. If you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall back asleep, get out of bed and do an activity for ten minutes. Do something that involves your hands and your head, like a puzzle or a coloring book. After ten minutes, return to bed and try to go to sleep again. 2) Stay hydrated. Drinking water makes us feel so refreshed that it changes our state of mind. Studies show that even mild dehydration can negatively impact our moods. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces every day. For example. If you weigh 150 lbs. you should aim to consume 75 ounces of water daily. 3) Get regular exercise. This doesn’t have to be hours at the gym. Regular, brief walks around your neighborhood or office building can make a huge difference. Invite a friend or a co-worker to chat with on these walks and it’s even better. 4) Accept the limits to what you can and cannot do. Sometimes, as parents we feel like we need to be superheroes and shoulder the responsibilities of life on our own. It takes a village to care for a child with mental health challenges and there are probably several people in your life that want to help, but simply don’t know how to do so. Its okay to be brave and ask for help. Incorporating these small self-care habits into your daily routine can help prevent ‘’caregiver burnout” and relieve some stress. In addition.
OnPulse Billing Assistants can reduce the stress and confusion associated with processing your child’s behavioral and mental health insurance claims. Contact OnPulse today and we’ll take care of the insurance, so you can take care of your child and yourself. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chat: www.onpulse.com Call: 919-321-0330