Tips for Caregivers
Being responsible for another's daily care is time-consuming, stressful and often exhausting. The physical, mental and emotional demands can affect your own physical and mental health.
Providing effective and compassionate care depends on how well you take care of yourself. Having your own support system and taking good care of yourself is a critical key to your success as a caregiver.
Here are things you can do to keep "caregiver overload" from happening to you:
- Take breaks: schedule regular time off from caregiving to see friends or maintain your own interests
- Relax or adjust your expectations of how frequently or how well you perform a task (such as housekeeping)
- Prioritize getting enough rest and exercise
- Learn breathing exercises or meditation techniques to manage stress
- Find a support group or person you can talk with about your feelings related to caregiving
- Focus on some of the good things that happen during the day
- Talk about topics you enjoy rather than spending all your time talking about caregiving
- Be honest about your limits and request help when you need it
- Learn to accept support and encouragement from those around you, including friends, local community agencies, and religious organizations
- Keep your sense of humor—find something to laugh about!
Above all, be good to yourself. Taking care of someone you love through an illness doesn't have to be stressful and exhausting. If you take good care of yourself, taking care of your loved one may also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.