If you're battling extra pounds and caring for a loved one, the association probably seems like a no-brainer: Yes, caregiving can make you fat.
The reasons hardly need reciting: lack of time or opportunity for exercise, inability to shop for and prepare nutritious meals, stress eating ("emotional eating"), worry and stress, and a general lack of self-care. It's little wonder that so many caregivers face weight problems and often get sick while they're actively caregiving.
Unfortunately, that doesn't do your loved one any good -- or you.
Some refresher ingredients for better self-care to remember:
Engage in mindful love of yourself. The first, best way to avoid unwanted caregiver weight gain is to make a vow to pay attention to yourself, just as much as you pay attention to the person in your care.
Pace yourself and plan ahead. You can't possibly get everything done today. Do what you can and put off the rest. But include yourself in the day's priority list.
Don't skimp on sleep. Take off your superhero cape at a reasonable hour and call it a day. Your loved one will be OK without your hypervigilance for seven or eight hours.
Let good enough be good enough. Enough said!
Thank your body for all it does for you. Rub your feet. Stretch. Take a nap and eat some nourishing food.
Take time off. The best way to recharge and reset your commitment to your own self-care is to get off the treadmill of life. Spend time in the outdoors. Appreciate yourself.