Self-Care for Caregivers

The physical and emotional demands of caring for a loved one with a serious illness can be exhausting and even lead to burnout. It’s important to maintain your own health and well-being so you can provide the best possible care.

•Take time for yourself and your own needs. Watch for signs of stress, such as impatience, loss of appetite or difficulty with sleep, concentration or memory. Pay attention to changes in your mood, a loss of interest in usual activities or an inability to accomplish usual tasks.

•Eat a well-balanced diet. Drink plenty of water every day.

•Exercise by taking short walks daily or at least three times a week.

•Listen to guided relaxation recordings or relaxing music.

•Schedule short rest periods between activities. Make it a priority to get a good night’s sleep.

•Set limits for what you can do.

•Don’t overload your daily to-do list. Be realistic.

•Find a few hours several times a week for activities that you find meaningful and enjoyable.

•Let family members and friends help with household chores, meal preparation, childcare and shopping.

•Keep the lines of communication open among your loved one, you, your family and friends, and the health care team.

•Share your feelings with family members or other caregivers, or join a support group.

•Give yourself credit: The care you give does make a difference.

Physical Health

Examples of this include:

•getting enough sleep

•eating healthy food

•going for a walk

•drinking plenty of water

•practicing good personal hygiene

•taking a relaxing bath

Mental health

Examples of mental self-care activities include:

•getting regular exercise

•reading a book

•learning a new hobby or skill

•listening to a podcast

•doing a digital detox practicing mindfulness

Emotional self-care

Some examples of emotional self-care are:



•practicing self-compassion and gratitude

•listening to music

•being aware of one’s boundaries and implementing them

Spiritual self-care

These include:

•engaging in prayer and meditation

•attending a worship service

•doing yoga



•walking in nature

•attending a retreat

Social life self-care

These include:

•engaging in healthy social media use

•spending time with family and friends

•keeping a date night on the calendar

•calling loved ones

•trying new hobbies and joining groups to meet and socialize with others

Financial self-care

Examples of financial self-care activities include:

•completing tax responsibilities on time

•meeting with a financial advisor

•paying bills

•budgeting money

•learning about money management

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