Whether it's caring for aging parents, your children, or juggling multiple roles both within and outside the family, caring for a sick loved one can be a huge responsibility! Although it can be rewarding, at the same time it can take a toll on your health as well! It can strain even the most resilient people too. Many caregivers tend to believe that they have to do everything by themselves, maybe this is true! But remember unless and until you take care of yourself, you won't be able to care of anyone else.
As a caregiver, you may be so engrossed in caring for your loved one that your own health and well being may be suffering. Hence, it's important to watch out for these signs of caregiver stress:
• Losing interest in activities that you once loved doing
• Weight loss or weight gain
• Sleeping too less or too much
• Feeling irritable or besieged
• Feeling exhausted most of the time
As a caregiver, you're more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. Additionally, you may not even get sufficient physical activity or even eat a balanced diet which only increases your risk of developing medical problems.
Here are few simple tips on how to take better care of yourself:
• Focus on what you're able to provide and don't give in to guilt
• Reach out for the help that you need
• Slow down and don't rush, this will only stress you out
• Improve your sleep habits
• Watch out for signs of depression and don't delay getting professional help when you need it
• Find a way to make time for yourself and set a short list of reasonable goals to promote your own health and well-being
• Get regular medical checkups
Remember, that taking time for yourself is not selfish; this will only improve your capacity to care for your loved one!