Being a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) can often feel like all your energy goes towards looking after your client. To be the best PCA you can be, however, it’s important to look after yourself. PCA burnout is all too common, so here are seven self-care tips you can put into action, so you can look after yourself and your client.
7 Tips for PCA Self-Care
Find a Support Group
Having other people around you who understand the realities of being a PCA is vital. Caregiver support groups are great for meeting like-minded friends and mentors who will understand any problems or questions you might be experiencing.
Own Your Feelings
It’s completely normal to sometimes feel overwhelmed, tired, or emotional while working as a PCA. It doesn’t make you any less skilled at your job. Try not to feel guilty about negative emotions that might arise within your job. Trust that these feelings will pass and let yourself feel whatever comes naturally.
Get Active with Your Clients
Taking care of yourself physically with regular exercise and healthy eating is also essential. It may sound tricky to fit healthy habits into the schedule you have with your client, so why not combine the two? Even with elderly clients, there are many ways to incorporate exercise into both of your routines.
Make Taking Care of Yourself a Priority
You can’t take good care of your client if you’re not in good shape yourself. Make self-care a priority item on your daily to-do list so that you can provide the best home care possible.
Organize Your Time
Once you have this mindset down, make it a real part of your schedule. Just as you might have set times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, carve out a section of the day where you have space to check in on your own needs. It could just be 15 minutes in the afternoon when you do a peaceful crossword puzzle, or walk around the garden and enjoy the fresh air.
Whatever it is, try and build up a routine that keeps it present in your daily life.
Being a caregiver is a difficult and valuable job, but it can also be overwhelming and sometimes thankless. Be in your own corner to set boundaries, look after your personal needs, and invest in yourself, because there might not be anyone else there to do it for you.
Be Open to Change
If you’ve been working in a particular way for a while, be open to changing it up if it starts to not work so well. We're all still learning, no matter how long we have been family caregivers. Be flexible and ready to try new things if it means being able to look after yourself and your client better.
Need More Support?
For more information and resources on caregiving, please contact the team at Best Care. We're ready to encourage and assist you with finding support and education regarding family caregiving resources, including self-care tips.
You can reach us at (651) 330-2550.