Caring For A Family Member: Looking After Yourself When Looking After A Family Member

If you are currently a caregiver, then you know the daily task of taking care of someone else. Though this may be a rewarding career, one that deserves much respect, being a caregiver can be a challenging, difficult experience. It may be your job to take care of someone else, but it’s also very important to remember to take care of yourself, as well.

Different Tips to Take Care of Yourself

If you’re a caregiver, you may be overworked or overstressed. Unfortunately, you may feel as if you don’t have the proper time to take care of yourself, especially if you spend your days and nights taking care of someone else. However, it’s very important to find a healthy balance and watch out for your own health and needs. The following symptoms are signs that you may be overworked or too stressed:

  • Constantly Feeling Tired
  • Feeling Overwhelmed or Irritable
  • Too Much or Not Enough Sleep
  • Losing or Gaining Weight
  • Loss of Interest

Getting Better

If you’ve recently been experiencing the above symptoms, then it’s time to seek help. First, it’s important to know that you’re not a failure; everyone needs help at some point in his or her life. The following tips could help you feel better:

  • Accepting Outside Help
  • Only Provide What You Can—Don’t Go Beyond Your Own Means
  • Join a Support Group
  • Look for Social Support
  • Set Health Goals for Yourself
  • Only Focus on What You Can Control
  • Avoid Tension
  • See a Doctor

If you’re symptoms don’t get better, but continue to get worse, then it’s absolutely vital to see your local doctor. If you can’t properly take care of yourself, then how are you realistically going to take care of someone else?

Specific ideas to help ensure you are taking care of yourself may include:

  • Giving Yourself 30 Minutes a Day
  • Pamper Yourself (i.e. a bubble bath, massage, manicure, etc.)
  • Create Laughter
  • Visit with Friends

Further Assistance

If you’re still feeling as if you may need help, then it may be time to fill out a SS disability application. Again, you’re not weak for admitting that you need help. Seeking outside assistance proves that you’re strong and only human; it’s possibly that you just can’t handle all of the responsibility by yourself anymore.

It’s important to always stay positive, no matter what the situation may be. But it’s also vital to remember this: you’re allowed to say “no.” There are going to be tasks or requests that you physically and emotionally can’t handle; never take on more than you can handle.

If you’re a caregiver, then you know what it’s like to work long, difficult hours. Though you spend most of your time taking care of someone else, you need to reserve some time to take care of yourself, too. Remember: if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?