The role of a caregiver is demanding; don’t underestimate the value of the work you’re doing — or the toll it can take on your emotional and physical health. You want to put the patient first, but in order to be an effective and supportive caregiver, you must look after yourself.
Be sure to get enough exercise, eat a proper diet, take breaks, and make time for adequate sleep.
Self-care quiz: How are you doing?
Answer the the following statements with "true" or "false":
- I feel rested and calm.
- I am getting enough sleep.
- I have someone to talk to.
- I am eating right.
- I am exercising regularly.
If you answered "false" to two or more of these statements, it’s time to adjust your load. Here are some actions you can take.
- Stop in at the Patient and Family Services office at the South Lake Union clinic and ask to see a social worker or chaplain.
- Find out about support groups at the Patient and Family Resource Center
- Attend a yoga class.
- Go for a walk or exercise.
- Plan time for leisure activities.
- Talk to someone you trust.
- Make a doctor’s appointment for yourself.
- Treat yourself to something that makes you feel good.
- Keep a journal or express yourself through art.
- Join an online support group for caregivers.
- Call your nurse with any questions or concerns.