Taking Care of Yourself

It’s no secret, being a caregiver is sometimes challenging and overwhelming. When caring for someone else, it’s easy to put your own needs aside. It can be an isolating journey. Although, you may feel like you can do it all alone, it is vital that you establish a healthy support system and remember to care for yourself. The following resources contain tips for self-care, ways to establish a support system, workshops that can help you cope with the stresses of caregiving, as well as options for getting a break.

What is self care and why should I do it?

Self care is any activity done to take care of your own physical, emotional, and mental health. Self care is essential for caregivers and is not a luxury, it is a necessity; if you are unwell, you are unable to provide care for someone else. Remember, always “put your oxygen mask on first.”

Learning How to Take Care of Yourself

As a caregiver, you spend a lot of time caring for your loved one and as a result, you may forget the most important person in the equation, YOU! The AARP, has identified some tips for practicing for self-care. Some tips for self-care include: Healthy living (eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly), practice good hygiene, see friends (consider joining a support group), try to do something you enjoy every day (that might be dancing, watching your favorite TV show, gardening, painting or reading), and find ways to relax (such as meditation, yoga, getting a massage, take a long bath or go for a walk).

Understanding and Managing Stress

CarePartners offers a variety of conferences and workshops throughout the year that provide information about managing stress when caregiving. Our education opportunities are provided in person and some online. Access our Caregiver Educational Events Calendar to be up to date with our upcoming sessions. To find the list of our previous pre-recorded workshops visit our caregiver resource videos.

Establishing Your Support Team

It’s important to reach out to others for help while caregiving. Creating a strong network of professionals and family and friends can help you take care of yourself.

Who can be included in your support team?

Informal supports such as family members, friends, faith community, coworkers, neighbors, and other caregivers.

Formal supports like caregiver support specialists, paid caregivers or service providers, physicians, nurses, case managers, and employee assistance programs. Check the Careparters’ Caregiver Resources for a list of services.

How do I build my support team?

The CarePartners Caregiver Support Team is also available to guide you through this process. Contact someone directly by calling 713.682.5995.

Want more information on how to build your support team? Check out the Family Caregiving Alliance’s resources on saying yes to offers to help which provides strategies to best utilize your support system and accept help.

Respite

Another way to manage stress is through getting a break from  your role as a caregiver. Visit the What is Respite? to learn more about the types of respite and the resources available to pay for it.

Do you have a good resource we should include on this page? Do you want to talk to someone about these resources? Contact us!

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