Caregiver Care: Remember to Take Care of Yourself!

Author: Shannon Miller

Approximately 1 in 5 Americans is a caregiver, which means that she or he regularly helps someone with tasks like grocery shopping, taking medicine, or getting to appointments.

This is a common situation for anyone with aging parents.  Being a caretaker is noble, but sometimes if we focus so much on others we overlook caring for ourselves and undergo what is known as caregiver stress.

Some signs of caregiver stress include:

  • feeling angry or sad
  • feeling like it’s more than you can handle
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • having trouble eating or eating too much
  • losing interest in things you used to enjoy

The good news is that we can take steps toward reducing caregiver stress by:

  • eating healthy in order to keep your body strong and active.
  • getting active.  Exercise is always a great stress-buster!
  • getting enough sleep, which will help your body rejuvenate for each day.
  • doing things for yourself, which is particularly important when you are constantly doing this for others.  It’s an easy reminder that you too are a priority!
  • asking for help.  Sometimes it’s hard to do everything alone, so ask for help and don’t be ashamed to do so!  Surely whoever you are caring for has other people who care about them as well – people who would be glad to chip in!

TIP:  So if you’re a caretaker, don’t forget to take care of yourself!  Make yourself a priority!

Please welcome Tammy Badida, our guest blogger on “My Journey” who writes on the caretaker’s role and how critical it is to take care of yourself.

Source: “Get Support if You Are a Caregiver.”  Healthfinder.  20 Feb 2011.

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