Being a Caregiver Can Be Tough

Taking care of someone is always difficult. Of course the amount of difficulty depends on the ability of the recipient, but no matter what, it still takes a toll on the caregiver. I know because, for a while, I was a caregiver for my daughter through her Hodgkins lymphoma treatments.

Caregiving is emotionally tough

While her physical care was minimal, emotionally, it was tough. If you are a caregiver, I’m sure you understand. During that time, I did a few things that helped with the stress and, since then, I’ve learned many things I wish I knew back then. I’m going to share them with you in hopes it helps.

Needing some "me" time

You will need time to yourself. Caring for someone 24/7 and being around them non-stop can take a toll. You have to have some "you" time. Reading a book, getting together with a friend, working part or full-time, or even just enjoying a cup of tea or coffee by yourself may be enough.

How I handled getting a little me time was to take a daily walk. I got fresh air, exercise, and a bit of quiet which totally felt refreshing and allowed me to face the rest of the day with positivity and energy.

Managing stress

Stress was something else that I felt. Juggling doctor appointments, hospital visits, and daily needs can take a lot out of you and may cause you stress. My daily walks helped with this, but there are other things you can do.

One thing I have learned since then was to journal. Journaling has helped me a lot. Writing down whatever you need to get out, gets it out and helps you to feel better. At least that’s what I have found since I learned about journaling and started practicing it.

People have also suggested meditation. I know this helps many, but when it came to stress, this wasn’t helpful for me.

The bottom line is, you have to do what is best for you, but you do need to do something to release stress. You don’t want to keep that in.

Getting enough sleep

Another big one is making sure you get enough sleep. Caring for your family member, stress, and juggling all that needs to get done may leave you sleep deprived. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, your stress level, and even your health. There are many things you can do to help yourself get the rest you need. The things that I did was to try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Of course this didn’t always happen, but it was my goal.

Meditation during the day has never helped me with stress, but it has helped me to go to sleep. Back then I didn’t have a meditation app, but I do now and I use it frequently before bed. I believe it would have helped me to be a better caregiver if I would have had the app then.

Another thing I do now that I wish I knew about then is to drink tea. There are many brands that are specifically made to help someone fall asleep and stay asleep. I have a cup of this almost nightly and it works wonders. If the responsibilities you have keeps you up at night, maybe tea would help you as well.

Being a caregiver is an important job and needs to be taken seriously. However, your health is important too. Be sure to take care of yourself and give your mind and body what it needs. You will feel better and you will be an even better caregiver for your family member.

Wishing you health and happiness.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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