Take Care of the Caregiver

In caregiving on May 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Stress is part of life & caregiving can be particularly stressful.  We can’t eliminate stress in our lives but you need to learn to recognize & manage it.  Listen to your body.  Taking care of yourself will reduce stress and increase your energy.

*  Set aside time every day if even for 15 minutes for yourself.  Take a walk, meditate, listen to music that makes you happy or make a phone call to a friend.  Share your feelings with friends & family.

*  Find something to laugh about, laughter reduces stress by stimulating breathing and increasing muscular activity and heart rate.

*  Make time for regular exercise-at least 20 minutes, two or three times a week.  Eat healthy, don’t skip meals and drink plenty of water!

*  Get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.  Take a short nap during the day when ever possible.

*  Swim, dance, get a massage, work in the garden or go to a movie.

*  Schedule regular medical & dental appointments for yourself.

*  Don’t try to be “superman/woman”, use professional & informal respite care and other community resources.

Above all, don’t feel gulity for taking time for yourself.   You will never be able to take good care of someone else if you don’t take good care of yourself.  You are the only you you have!

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