The average caregiver is not spending a lot of time on hobbies or other outside activities, usually because of time and energy constraints. But you need to have your own life, especially if you’re planning on taking care of your senior for a long time.

Try to Remember What You Love to Do

Caregiver Buffalo Grove, IL:What to Do with Time to Yourself

When you’re running around trying to do all the things, it’s tough to remember what you love to do with free time. Because who has free time anymore? If you’re a caregiver who wants to keep being a caregiver, you need to have free time. Take a few minutes and think about anything that you used to do or even that you used to dream of one day doing that was a “just for fun” type of activity. Write those ideas down.

Write Your Feelings out in a Journal
If you’re still having a tough time coming up with ideas, it might be time to start journaling. This is a really easy way to get back to basics with yourself. At first you might feel a little bit silly but stick with it. Journaling can pay off big dividends down the line. Try freewriting for a little while. This gives you a chance to just write from the top of your head without a topic or judgment.

Try Some New Things, Slowly
When you’re still trying to figure out what you want to do for fun, it helps if you tackle that project slowly rather than all at once. Take a couple of hours and tinker with some crafts or go to see a movie. Keep the pressure off yourself. If you go at this by telling yourself that you have one afternoon to find the right hobby or activity, that’s an awful lot of pressure.

Think about How You’d Give Advice to a Friend
What would you tell your best friend if they were in this situation? Honestly, that’s what you might need to do for yourself. Very often caregivers can’t see what they need to do because what they see are the things that need to be done and all of the reasons, they shouldn’t be taking time away in the first place. So shift your perspective. Give yourself advice as if you were your best friend.

Taking time away from caregiving to spend doing what you want and need to do is a crucial part of every caregiver’s self-care plan. If you’re not already doing this, you need to take some time and put together a plan.

Excerpt: Figuring out what to do with time that is just yours alone can be tough as a caregiver.


If you or an aging loved one are considering a Caregiver in Buffalo Grove, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.

Jamie Shapiro

Jamie Shapiro, founder of Companion Services of America, LLC received a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. Jamie started her career in psychiatric social work at Northwestern University Institute of Psychiatry. Later, she went on to become the Director of Social Services at Belmont Community Hospital where she developed discharge planning procedures to assist staff in identifying potential patients requiring intervention.