TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF
The more you take care of you, the better you can care for someone else
Studies show that caregivers often neglect themselves, with dire consequences for their health and well-being. Don't become a statistic. Keep you doctors' appointments, find some daily "me" time, get enough sleep and exercise—and when you can, add a little fun and luxury to your days.
Here are some easy ways...
Take a Hike
Go for a quiet walk; observe nature; listen to birds, crickets and the wind. Pause to put your face to the sky and think about nothing at all. Return refreshed.
Toss a terry bathrobe or bathsheet in the clothes dryer before you slip into a hot bubble bath. Roll it up so it's still toasty when you emerge. Once you wrap yourself in it, you'll feel like you've just escaped to a spa!
Flop on the floor and cuddle your kids or your pet. Stroking your dog's tummy can calm you, and a few minutes of unabashedly loving your child—with no agenda—will put life into perspective fast.
Slice and Sniff
Cut up a fresh orange and eat the slices slowly, enjoying nature's gift to the olfactory nerves. Or, squeeze a whole lemon for tension relief and keep the oil on your palms. With just a wave of your hand, you'll enjoy instant aromatherapy.
Be a Cut-Up
Sing out loud, really loud! Pop some bubble-gum bubbles. Or dance and be silly when no one is looking. Cracking yourself up can go a long way toward keeping you sane. Really!
Take a Real Break
Chat with a friend on the phone or over lunch. Your rules—talk about anything (movies, books, the kids, the neighbors) except your current caregiving situation.