If your caregiving duties are keeping you up at night, work days may seem to crawl by slower. How many more hours until bedtime? How many more cups of coffee?
Whether other people aren’t able to step in as secondary caregivers to give you a night off or you’re still considering Alzheimer care for your loved one, AARP has several tips for getting through the day after an all-nighter.
- Food and drink: When you’re recovering from a long night, small meals throughout the day are the best way to keep your energy up. According to AARP, you should pack your diet with protein and avoid typical snack food. Treats with a lot of carbohydrates and sugar can actually cause a energy crash as they are digested. Try not to increase your caffeine intake greatly from your average workday because it could ultimately disrupt your sleep later that day. It’s also important to drink plenty of water because dehydration can make you feel weak. Additionally, caffeine is a diuretic, so the more coffee or tea you drink, the more water you should consume.
- Naps. If there is time in your day and someone available to care for your loved one, schedule a nap for yourself.
- Splash cold water on your face or even take a cold shower to wake your mind and body up.
- Exercise: Though physical activity is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re exhausted, it actually can give you an energy boost. Just a half hour walk around the neighborhood may clear your head a bit for the day ahead. Exercise also increases endorphins which can improve mood, always a welcome benefit when you’re dealing with caregiving stress.