It’s 3pm and you reach for a chocolate chip cookie and another cup of coffee with a dash of crème and sugar. You feel better. There’s a little more pep in your step, a little more wiggle in your waggle. Until 4pm when your eyelids begin their slow descent while you still have another 4 hours of fairly rigorous activity and tasks to perform. Caregiving is not for sissies. It takes energy, vigilance, care and determination. Sometimes it takes patience and foresight. Other times—pure, unadulterated strength. Keeping your energy levels high is key to a long-term commitment and a good attitude. So, put down the cookie and take a look at how to sustain your energy naturally.
Food is your best medicine. It supplies the body’s ability to do the millions of tasks it performs in any given day. Sustain your body with healthy snacks at regular intervals, eating small meals every few hours instead of three meals a day. Lunch has proven to be a particularly draining meal when large quantities are consumed. According to an article in Harvard Health Publications from Harvard Medical School, “Researchers have observed that the circadian rhythms of people who eat a lot at lunch typically show a more pronounced afternoon slump.”
Good snacks to consider are fruit—a good source of healthy carbohydrates and fiber—as well as nuts that provide protein, sustained energy, and magnesium—an important mineral to a host of vital functions in the body. Quinoa has more protein than any other grain. Add some lentils for high fiber that stabilizes your blood sugar. Other good choices are bananas and smoothies, or maybe a banana in your smoothie. Add some berries, spirulina and low-fat Greek yogurt, and you’re on your way to a productive afternoon.
You’ll be surprised at how one glass of water can perk you up. Dehydration is a common culprit when it comes to low energy. Try to remember to always have a glass of water by your side and your parent’s side as well. If water bores you, get one of the many pitchers with a container placed inside that is made to place fruit, vegetables and ice in order to create flavored water. Consider berries and melons or mint and cucumber. For an alternative beverage, consider a cup of green tea or yerba mate in the afternoon.
Needless to say, exercise is one of the key components to a life of increasing energy. According to an article in WebMD, “A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 2008, University of Georgia researchers found that inactive folks who normally complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20 percent while decreasing fatigue by as much as 65 percent by simply participating in regular, low-intensify exercise.” Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week.
Home Care Provider
Consider obtaining the services of a home care provider a few days a week. You will know your parent is in good, caring hands while you take the time you need to do the things that bring you joy and keep you energized.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.