Caregiving Weight Gain

Is Caregiving Making You Fat?
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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.