Keeping Yourself Well When Caring for a Loved One

Reviewed Aug 30, 2016

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Summary

  • Taking care of your own health should be a priority.
  • Don’t let yourself feel guilty or responsible.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress.

Caring for a family member with an illness can be hard. The person who gives most of the care is often the last one to get their own needs met. It is important to remember if you don’t keep yourself well, you are less able to care for your ill family member. There are things you can do to keep yourself healthy.

  • Taking care of your own health should be first on your list. Eat right, exercise, and get eight hours of sleep. Avoid alcohol and drugs not prescribed by your doctor.
  • Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Caring for someone with an illness can leave little time for you or other family members. Keep a strong network of friends. Connect with others who are having similar problems through support or church groups. They can help you. 
  • Make time to do something for yourself. Visit friends, take a class, or do a hobby. Even going to work can be a break from the demands of caring for a loved one.
  • Friends are important. When you spend all of your time caring for a family member, friends may drift away. Don’t let this happen. Keep in touch with your friends. You can share your feelings or just have fun. Fun is a great stress reliever.
  • Don’t let yourself feel guilty or like it’s your fault. Your loved one’s illness is not your fault. Being angry all the time doesn’t solve problems. In fact, it can cause other problems. If you can’t get on top of these feelings, you might want to think about counseling for yourself. 
  • Think ahead. There are many things you can do to keep stress under control. Be prepared. Keep an extra supply of meds for your loved one in case you run out and can’t get to a pharmacy.
  • Always remember that you have courage and strength. Rely on these when times get tough.
By Haline Grublak, Vice President of Member and Family Affairs, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager and Julie Tull, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Taking care of your own health should be a priority.
  • Don’t let yourself feel guilty or responsible.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress.

Caring for a family member with an illness can be hard. The person who gives most of the care is often the last one to get their own needs met. It is important to remember if you don’t keep yourself well, you are less able to care for your ill family member. There are things you can do to keep yourself healthy.

  • Taking care of your own health should be first on your list. Eat right, exercise, and get eight hours of sleep. Avoid alcohol and drugs not prescribed by your doctor.
  • Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Caring for someone with an illness can leave little time for you or other family members. Keep a strong network of friends. Connect with others who are having similar problems through support or church groups. They can help you. 
  • Make time to do something for yourself. Visit friends, take a class, or do a hobby. Even going to work can be a break from the demands of caring for a loved one.
  • Friends are important. When you spend all of your time caring for a family member, friends may drift away. Don’t let this happen. Keep in touch with your friends. You can share your feelings or just have fun. Fun is a great stress reliever.
  • Don’t let yourself feel guilty or like it’s your fault. Your loved one’s illness is not your fault. Being angry all the time doesn’t solve problems. In fact, it can cause other problems. If you can’t get on top of these feelings, you might want to think about counseling for yourself. 
  • Think ahead. There are many things you can do to keep stress under control. Be prepared. Keep an extra supply of meds for your loved one in case you run out and can’t get to a pharmacy.
  • Always remember that you have courage and strength. Rely on these when times get tough.
By Haline Grublak, Vice President of Member and Family Affairs, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager and Julie Tull, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Taking care of your own health should be a priority.
  • Don’t let yourself feel guilty or responsible.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress.

Caring for a family member with an illness can be hard. The person who gives most of the care is often the last one to get their own needs met. It is important to remember if you don’t keep yourself well, you are less able to care for your ill family member. There are things you can do to keep yourself healthy.

  • Taking care of your own health should be first on your list. Eat right, exercise, and get eight hours of sleep. Avoid alcohol and drugs not prescribed by your doctor.
  • Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Caring for someone with an illness can leave little time for you or other family members. Keep a strong network of friends. Connect with others who are having similar problems through support or church groups. They can help you. 
  • Make time to do something for yourself. Visit friends, take a class, or do a hobby. Even going to work can be a break from the demands of caring for a loved one.
  • Friends are important. When you spend all of your time caring for a family member, friends may drift away. Don’t let this happen. Keep in touch with your friends. You can share your feelings or just have fun. Fun is a great stress reliever.
  • Don’t let yourself feel guilty or like it’s your fault. Your loved one’s illness is not your fault. Being angry all the time doesn’t solve problems. In fact, it can cause other problems. If you can’t get on top of these feelings, you might want to think about counseling for yourself. 
  • Think ahead. There are many things you can do to keep stress under control. Be prepared. Keep an extra supply of meds for your loved one in case you run out and can’t get to a pharmacy.
  • Always remember that you have courage and strength. Rely on these when times get tough.
By Haline Grublak, Vice President of Member and Family Affairs, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager and Julie Tull, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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