Safety First... Care for Yourself
On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. The first rule you are told is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else.
Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. The caring of yourself is often side-stepped or one of the most often forgotten things a caregiver can overlook and feel guilty about. The thinking needs to change.
Remember when your health and needs are taken care of first, only then the person you are caring for will benefit the most.
- Seek support from other caregivers
- Take care of your own health
- Accept offers of help
- Learn how to communicate effectively your status
- take respite breaks
- Watch out for signs of depression
- Be open to new technologies
- Organize medical information
- Make sure legal documents are in order
- Give yourself credit for doing the best you can
Relaxation Techniques and Why They are Powerful Tools for Today's Caregiver
To effectively overcome stress, the body's natural relaxation response needs to be activated. This can be done by practicing relaxation techniques. These techniques include deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, and yoga. Find out more at Helpguide.org
Safety First for Caregivers - Resources
- Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers, Family Caregiver Alliance
- 10 Tips for Family Caregivers, Caregiver Action Network
- Relaxation Techniques, Helpguide.org
- Four Ways to Deal with Stress, American Heart Association