Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't neglect yourself

It's way too easy for a caregiver to put off self care because our responsibilities can be so time-consuming and we tend to put ourselves at the bottom of our to-do lists. I like the example of being on an airplane with someone we're responsible for. The flight attendants always stress that in the event of an incident that requires the use of the oxygen masks you should always put yours on first because you can't help or care for anyone else if you're unconscious. It's the same with life as a care giver... if you allow yourself to be depleted, worn out and used up you can't possibly have anything left to give anyone else. Check into respite services through your local Area Agency on Aging , your church or sometimes your local community may have such a program. Friends and family are probably more willing to lend some time and support than you realize. Don't be shy about asking. You can also schedule time for yourself each day to go for a walk, read something uplifting or just "be" for a while. Whatever recharges your batteries, just do it! Nobody benefits if you are overwhelmed and help is very often just a phone call away.

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