Caregivers Need to Care for Themselves, Too

Here are some tips from Dr. Stacy to help caregivers give their best while also taking care of themselves.

Guest Post by Alexis Hall, Image via Pexels

If you’re a family caregiver or informal caregiver, you know the role can be intense. You may be working, caring for a loved one, and giving attention to children and other family members. It can be hard to care for an individual with cognitive decline or whose health status may change daily. Unlike paid caregivers, your duties may include personal care, meal prep, and housekeeping. Change is constant and stressful, so self-care is vital for caregivers. 

Caregivers Often Neglect Their Own Needs

The age range for caregivers is 45 to 64 years old, so many are also working and raising children. Multiple obligations can cause caregivers to neglect personal health. They don’t have time to keep medical appointments or exercise regularly. They may have given up on socializing. Unpaid caregivers often experience poor health and are also at increased risk fordepression. As a caregiver, it’s essential you adopt behaviors to protect your health and well-being.

Make Personal Health Care a Priority

A caregiver who fails to keep health care appointments may develop conditions that endanger their health. The stress of going in many directions can lead to hypertension, a silent killer. Untreated hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. The only way caregivers can know whether they have health issues is to visit a health care provider regularly for checkups.

Choose Healthy Foods

Caregivers typically ensure those around them are well-fed, but they frequently eat hurriedly or miss meals. Eating healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, supplies the body with the energy and nutrients needed to function and fight disease. Keeping nutritious snacks on hand, drinking lots of water, and preparing foods like soups and stews in advance can make it easier to eat well and also offer more time to enjoy food and conversation with your loved one.

Find Time to Move

Exercise is planned physical activities that help an individual reach a fitness goal. Physical activity includes unplanned activities that promote health and fitness. It can be challenging to get to a fitness center several days each week, but there are alternatives. Digging weeds from a garden, washing a car, and walking the dog are other ways to be active. When approached vigorously, these activities burn calories and fat while strengthening joints and muscles. Taking a walk with a friend or neighbor is an excellent way to get a workout, relieve stress, socialize, and avoid isolation.

Track Your Movement

A fitness tracker or smartwatch makes it easy to keep up your exercise or physical activity efforts. You can track your heart rate during workouts, as well as calories burned, and set goals to help you get the most of your physical activity. Maintain your smartwatch by replacing the band, and add a screen protector to keep it easy to read and unblemished.

A Healthy Caregiver Is a Better Caregiver

Becoming a healthier caregiver will benefit not only you but also your loved one. Be a better caregiver by taking care of yourself first. Remember: like your clients, you deserve to live your best life.

Dr. Stacy is a licensed psychologist, licensed addiction counselor, certified personal trainer, and certified nutrition coach. Please reach out to request an appointment at Studio B.

Try These Simple Practices to Prevent Anxiety Attacks

If you deal with anxiety attacks, you know how distressing and stressful they can be.

Guest Post by: Emma Grace Brown, Image via Rawpixel

Anxiety is your body’s way of responding to stressful situations, and a healthy amount of it can provide you with extra energy and focus on overcoming challenges.

But when your anxiety reaches unhealthy levels, and it begins to disrupt your life, it’s time to figure out how to bring it under control.

Fortunately, there are many practical methods to keep anxiety at bay and reduce stress. From therapy self-study at home workbooks to diet and exercise, try these tips from Stacy Reuille-Dupont to prevent future anxiety attacks:

Change Jobs         

Sometimes anxiety is rooted in or triggered by a career path that no longer fits your life. Whether you have changed, the job has changed, or a good thing just needs to come to an end, sometimes you need to move on. Evaluate your career path to determine if it still accommodates you. If not, be bold and make the change to find something more enjoyable. 

If you find your current career is not the right fit and is triggering anxiety, then consider going to school and getting on track for a career that will suit you better. Online schooling is more accessible and flexible than ever in the digital age. While still working your current job (keeping a steady paycheck) and managing your responsibilities, you can attend online courses. 

If you already have your bachelor’s degree, you can go back to earn a master’s in fields like education, business, or criminal justice. If you don’t have your bachelor’s degree yet, you could achieve one in anything from health care to technology.

Try Breathing Exercises

Anxiety can cause every muscle in your body to tense up. It also impacts every organ, your mood, and your energy levels. Breathing exercises are proven to lessen not only the symptoms associated with anxiety but also to alleviate or altogether eliminate anxiety attacks. 

Try different breathing exercises until you find one you like (e.g., belly breathing, box breathing, alternating nasal and mouth breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, etc.). And use the techniques whenever anxiety washes over you.

Steer Clear of Substances

While things like breathing exercises and life changes can improve anxiety, triggers make it worse. Anything that alters your brain can exacerbate anxiety. Whether we are talking sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or cigarettes. Not all bodies are the same, so not everything will affect you. Steer clear of anything you notice that worsens your anxiety and find healthy alternatives when possible.

Eat Well and Exercise     

Your body and your mind are intrinsically intertwined. When you take care of your physical health, you will naturally see improvements in your mental and emotional health. For some people, their anxiety can be kept entirely at bay by maintaining a good diet and exercise routine. For others, it can help manage or lessen the impact of anxiety. 

Eat healthy, balanced meals consisting of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. And try to move your body every day and make it a fitness routine that brings you joy. You may have to try a few different exercises until you find the right fit. 

Lean on Others

Community is essential to human nature. Resist the urge to battle the mountain of anxiety alone. Include your friends, family, and professionals like Stacy Reuille-Dupont in your journey towards overcoming this obstacle. Reach out when you need support. You’re not alone.

When anxiety controls significant portions of your life, it’s time to make some changes. Consider the tips above to keep your anxiety levels within a healthy range and prevent future attacks.

You might be surprised by how a simple modification to your daily routine can make such a lasting impact on your overall health and wellbeing!

Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about my psychology, addiction counseling, and personal training services? Visit StacyReuille.com to find out how to work with Stacy today!

4 Steps to Improving Your Mental Health Through Better Sleep

When we don’t get enough quality sleep, most of us worry primarily about how tired we’ll feel the next day. It’s only when it becomes an ongoing, chronic issue that some of us start to realize the mental impact of poor sleep. It’s not just that we feel low, stressed, or unfocused: Research has shown that sleep deprivation could be a cause of certain psychological disorders as well as a symptom of it. Luckily, a few simple changes to your sleep habits and environment can be enough to improve your quality of sleep, and in turn ensure your mental well-being. 

Guest Post by: Stephanie Haywood from MyLifeBoost.com

Photo Credit: Photo via Unsplash.

When we don’t get enough quality sleep, most of us worry primarily about how tired we’ll feel the next day. It’s only when it becomes an ongoing, chronic issue that some of us start to realize the mental impact of poor sleep. It’s not just that we feel low, stressed, or unfocused: Research has shown that sleep deprivation could be a cause of certain psychological disorders as well as a symptom of it. Luckily, a few simple changes to your sleep habits and environment can be enough to improve your quality of sleep, and in turn ensure your mental well-being. 

Dr. Stacy can help you create a personalized mental map to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Schedule an appointment today!

Make Your Bed as Comfortable as Possible

Start with the obvious. If you want to sleep well, you need to make sure your bed is perfectly suited for it. If you haven’t switched mattresses in a while, you may want to invest in one of the new “bed in a box” models. Next, focus on your pillows. According to Good Housekeeping, the key to a good pillow is providing a neutral alignment with your spine. In general, this means side sleepers need thicker, firmer pillows, and stomach sleepers will need thinner pillows. 

Assess Your Environment

Your room should be geared toward restful sleep. If there’s too much light, try installing blackout curtains. Noisy city dwellers could benefit from a white noise machine. Too warm at night? Open your windows or get a fan.

If you get too warm or too cold during the night, you may want to invest in a fan or portable heater. Alternatively, if you fear expensive electric bills, something as simple as opening the window or buying warmer pajamas can make a world of difference. 

Last but not least, make sure that you keep your bedroom organized. Disorganization can lead to you experiencing feelings of anxiety, which can very easily disrupt your sleep. In addition to keeping your room clutter-free, make sure you take the time to clean your bedroom doors and windows. Every little bit can make the space more relaxing.

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual

If you tend to lie awake in bed going over the day’s problems, your problem has less to do with your environment and more to do with the state of mind you are in when you go to bed. In order to prepare your mind for sleep, create a bedtime ritual that relaxes you and winds you down. 

You could, for example, have a soothing herbal tea with sleep-inducing properties, such as chamomile, passionflower, lavender, lemongrass, or valerian root. You could also take a long hot bath or shower or read a few pages of a book. A few stretches can also be extremely effective, and they have the added bonus of soothing sore or tense muscles. You can do knee-to-chest stretches for lower back pains, lunges for sore glutes, and child’s pose for releasing neck tension. 

Once you’re in bed, meditation can be an extremely effective way to stop spiraling thoughts. Popular meditation app Headspace has an entire section dedicated to sleep, including guided meditations as well as relaxing sounds and music. If guided meditation isn’t your thing, try taking some deep breaths to clear your head and relax your body. 

Get Moving

Your quality of sleep is not just linked to your bedtime habits. What you do throughout the rest of the day also matters. The best example of this is exercise. In itself, exercise is excellent for both your physical and mental health. However, regular exercise is also linked to good sleep, with several studies showing that people who work out tend to sleep better.

It doesn’t matter when you work out, and it doesn’t even have to be intense exercise. As long as you do it regularly, you will likely see an improvement in your quality of sleep within a few weeks. 

Every night, our minds and bodies have the opportunity to rest, reset, and process the day’s events. If your environment and habits aren’t geared to allow this, it is going to be a lot more difficult for you to get the sleep you need to feel mentally well. Start by identifying what your barriers to sleep are, and then address each one individually until you have perfected your sleep routine. Your mind will thank you. 

How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Self-Care Getaway

We all need a break sometimes but it can be hard to find the money to take a vacation. Here’s some budget friendly ideas to get the rest and self care you need.


Guest Post by Cheryl Conklin at www.wellnesscentral.info

Photo Credit: Pexels

Do you ever feel like you’re just dying for a vacation? It may be truer than you think. Non-stop work with no quality breaks is definitely bad for your creativity, productivity, and even your physical and mental health. However, many of us go for years or longer without taking a trip to get away from it all. This delay often comes down to costs. That said, there are plenty of ways to affordably manage a self-care-focused getaway.

Search for Deals

To get the absolute most bang for your buck, try to find travel deals you can use to help finance your trip. For example, you can book your rental car, hotel stays, and other travel costs through sites like Google Flights, Hotels.com and Hotwire. Another fruitful way to save money on your trip is to check tourist sites and travel companies. These agencies understand the expenses involved in vacation, and by offering discounts, they can bring in customers they otherwise couldn’t reach. So, look around online or reach out to your destination’s tourism office to figure out what kinds of offers are available.

If you want to save even more and will be gone more than one night, consider a private rental. Not only will you have more space, but you’ll also save on dining out since you’ll have access to a kitchen. Plus, privacy is much more attainable when you’re in your own space, meaning you can get more out of your self-care endeavours. 

Hit the Road

One great low-cost way to travel is to go on a road trip. You can make the most of your journey by stopping at plenty of destinations on the way. Not only does this give you the chance to experience places you’d probably never see otherwise, but it’s also relatively low-cost. Roadside attractions know they’re riding on tourist interest, so they have to stay affordable.

Go Camping

Looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban living? Consider going camping. This is a great way to connect with nature and get some time away from phone screens and car horns. Since campground fees are usually low, you only need to worry about the cost of gear. If you don’t have your own tent, don’t fear — you can rent camping gear through outdoor shops. If nothing like that’s available near you, ask your friends; Someone may have gear you can use. If you need to buy gear, avoid costly camping retail stores and look to sites like Overstock instead. Here, you can find all the equipment you need at a lower price, especially if you can tack on promotions or coupons. 

Go for the Secret Staycation

Getting away doesn’t always require actually getting away. Simply spending time off work and out of your routine can go a long way toward giving yourself the break you need. However, to really nail in these benefits, keep your stay-at-home plans to yourself. Anyone you tell has the potential to stop by or expect you to come hang out since “you’re free, you can make it!” By just saying “I’m on vacation that week” and leaving out any specific details about your time off, you can make a staycation a legitimate retreat.

Consider Voluntourism

Finally, you can get some time away from your regular routine and help the world all at once by embracing voluntourism. These sorts of trips are usually lower cost since you’re not traveling to hit the beach and lounge. These usually come with a lot of hard work and often require significant manual labor. However, when the workday is done, you’re free to explore the area and have some time to yourself. These trips aren’t for everyone, and if you work a physical job, they may not be the respite you really need. However, working with your hands can be a surprisingly effective breather for those who spend most of their days at a desk.

Vacation isn’t just fun; it’s legitimately good for you. Getting some time away from your regular routine is some of the absolute best self-care you can give yourself. By finding affordable ways to travel, you can take the trip you need to recharge your batteries.

How To Banish Burnout At Work And At Home

Burnout is, according to Healthline, “a state of mental and physical exhaustion that can zap the joy out of your career, friendships, and family interactions.” And it is a very real phenomenon that many professionals experience at some level throughout their careers. Fortunately, career burnout is something you can thwart before your light begins to fade. Here are some practical tips to beat burnout both at work and at home.

Image via Pexels

Guest Post By: Cheryl Conklin

At Work

  • Be a better leader. When you have great leadership skills, your employees will never have to question what they need to do, how it needs to be done, and when. They will look up to you as a mentor instead of simply the person that signs their paycheck. Once you refine your leadership skills, you can easily lead your organization through good and bad times with the kind of positive mindset people find contagious.
  • Enhance your education. Leadership is just one business skill you can sharpen to be more effective in the office. It is never too late — and you never have too much or too little experience — to pursue mastery in other areas. Business management and marketing are two of these, and pursuing a business degree online will allow you to continue to work while improving your professional acumen.
  • Improve company morale. Career burnout is often caused in part by the negative attitudes of those within your organization. This is an easy remedy, and you can improve employee morale by maintaining an open line of communication and recognizing a job well done. Connecteam points out that simple recognition motivates more than three-quarters of employees. This can lead to greater productivity and less stress throughout your entire organization.

At Home

  • Vacation often. Taking a vacation — even a quick weekend trip — increases mindfulness and can give your brain a much-needed boost. While you may not be able to enjoy a lengthy sabbatical, do prioritize family vacations or solo sojourns every few months. After each trip, you’ll notice you are much more productive and positive than you were before your sabbatical.
  • Leave work at work. 50 — this is the number of hours that the American Institute of Stress says pushes most American workers toward feelings of burnout. As an executive, you may be tempted to work from the office five days a week and respond to emails and telephone calls in your off-hours. Limit this as much as possible, and make sure that your superiors and subordinates are aware of your boundaries. Remember, you have to have personal time to be most productive during your professional time.
  • Engage in healthy habits. The actions you take each day to better your health will help you keep your flame burning bright at work and at home. Health threats, such as sleep deprivation, malnutrition, and untamed stress, will follow you to the office and stick around long after you’ve clocked out. Do yourself a favor and get plenty of sleep, eat well, and exercise. These — along with other healthy habits, including socializing and keeping a clean home — will go a long way toward beating career fatigue.

Career burnout is an alarming phenomenon that can leave you stagnant in your career, no matter how close to the top you climb. But you can avoid it by taking steps now to improve your work and home environment. The above tips are a great place to start. 

Does burnout have you feeling overwhelmed and depressed? Dr. Stacy’s seven-day course can get you to shift your mindset to get back on track.