Dealing with Physical and Emotional Burdens As a Caregiver

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  • Do not allow the person in your care to take unfair advantage of you by being overly demanding.
  • Live one day at a time.
  • List priorities, decide what to leave undone, and think of ways to make the work easier.When doing a long, boring care task, use the time to relax or listen to music.
  • Find time for regular exercise to increase your energy (even if you only stretch in place).
  • Focus on getting relaxing sleep rather than more sleep.
  • Take several short rests in order to get enough sleep.
  • Set aside time for prayer or reflection.
  • Practice deep breathing and learn to meditate to empty your mind of all troubles.
  • Allow your self-esteem to rise because you have discovered hidden skills and talents.
  • Realize your own limitations and accept them.
  • Make sure your goals are realistic; you may be unable to do everything you could do before.
  • Keep your eating habits balanced; do not fall into a toast-and-tea habit.
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Treat yourself to a massage.
  • Keep up with outside friends and activities.
  • Spread the word that you would welcome some help, and allow friends to help with respite care.
  • Delegate (assign) jobs to others. Keep a list of tasks you need to have done and assign specific ones when people offer to help.
  • Share your concerns with a friend.
  • Join a support group, or start one (to share ideas and resources).
  • Use respite care when needed.
  • Express yourself openly and honestly with people you feel should be doing more to help.
  • When you visit your own doctor, be sure to explain your caregiving responsibilities, not just your symptoms.
  • Allow yourself to feel your emotions without guilt. They are natural and very human.
  • Unload your anger and frustration by writing it down.
  • Allow yourself to cry and sob.
  • Know that you are providing a very important service to the person in your care.