It’s simple: If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t care for your loved one. So it’s crucial that you maintain optimal health.
Enhance your endurance and mood.
- Learn everything you can about stroke. Knowledge is empowering.
- Set boundaries; say no when it’s appropriate.
- Don’t dwell on what you can’t change.
- Limit caffeine.
- Get adequate rest.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Find a support system.
- Share your feelings with someone who wants to listen.
- Focus on things you’re grateful for each day.
- Invest in your spiritual life.
Overcome stress and depression.
Physical and psychological stress is an inevitable part of caregiving. How you manage it impacts your well-being. To combat stress:
- Set your priorities.
- Maintain a routine.
- Don’t try to do it all.
Depression is also common during the caregiving journey, especially if you feel hopeless and helpless.
- Allow yourself to grieve the losses related to stroke.
- Accept — and get help for — the new responsibilities thrust upon you.
- Remember, you’re angry with the situation, not your loved one.
In short, first take care of you… before you take care of your loved one.