- MAKE GOALS If having time to yourself seems impossible, try making mini selfcare goals. For example, set a goal this week to take 5 minutes to stretch or to do a breathing exercise every day.
- BE KIND TO YOURSELF Give yourself credit for the complex work you are doing to care for your family member. Most caregivers say that caregiving can be rewarding AND challenging. Make and keep doctor appointments.
- EXERCISE MOST DAYS Even for a few minutes. If you can’t leave the person you are caring for alone, take them with you.
- GET OUTDOORS Fresh air and a new view are good for us in so many ways.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP Research ways in which you can get at least 7 hours of sleep.
- TREAT YOURSELF You are worthy! Take a walk, get a pedicure, etc.
- DON’T IGNORE YOUR EMOTIONS Stay connected with friends, seek out other caregivers to talk to.
- READ, PRAY OR MEDITATE FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES A DAY
- CHUCKLE MORE OFTEN Look for levity in your situation. Watch a funny movie.
- ASK FOR HELP When people ask you what they can do to help, THEY REALLY DO WANT TO HELP! Give them the joy of helping.
IDENTIFYING PERSONAL BARRIERS Sometimes, beliefs or cultural norms can become barriers standing in the way of caring for yourself. When caring for another person, you must ask yourself:
- What good will I be to the person I care for if I become ill?
- Do I think that I am being selfish if I put my needs first?
- Do I have trouble asking for what I need?
- Do I feel inadequate if I ask for help?
- Do I feel I have to prove that I am worthy of affection from the person I care for?
Once you identify any barriers to good self-care, you can begin to take small steps toward changing behaviors that are standing in your way.