Breast cancer is difficult for caretakers. The energy you devote to caring for your loved one makes it difficult to find the time and energy to care for yourself. But it’s important to take a step back and nurture your body in this time of need. Here are some ways to take care of yourself this year and devote energy to regaining your health as a caregiver.
Keep Tabs on Your Health
An often overlooked aspect in caring for yourself while caregiving, is keeping up with your health. You focus on your loved one’s health, but sometimes lose track of yours. Check-in with your primary care physician and make sure everything is in check. Sleep well, exercise, and focus on eating quality foods. Prioritize your wellness by making healthier choices throughout your day. By keeping your health in check, you’ll feel better and keep your energy levels up for your loved ones.
Manage Stress Levels
In the spirit of keeping tabs on your health, it’s important to manage your stress levels as well! Caregiving may add to your stress, especially if you work full time or are caring for your children. Excess stress saps energy and reduces the effectiveness of your immune system. The stress of being a caregiver can be consuming but it’s important to give yourself the space to allow your emotions to run true, accept help when needed, and make your stress reduction a priority.
Talk to Someone Outside of Your Family
It’s important to keep your support system in place and reach out when needed. Your loved ones are there for you, but having support outside of your family is important as well. Reach out to someone within your community. A best friend or your therapist makes great avenues for developing support outside of your loved ones. It’s important to lean on someone you can trust, no matter the person, or how they fit into your life.
Accept Help as It’s Offered
You’re a caregiver. You need to put out fires and the responsibilities feel like they never end. It’s important to accept help though, as your time and energy have limits. Whether it’s friends, family, or members of your community, accept the help and take that time to refocus your priorities. When accepting help, sit, rest, be mindful of your body and how you’re feeling.
Keep Realistic Expectations
There’s only so much you can accomplish in a day. There’s only so much time in a day. Our energy is also limited. It’s important to be realistic about each day and what’s on the calendar. Set goals that are achievable and put a system in place to allow time for yourself as you complete these goals. It’s important to recognize that you, as a caregiver, also need time to reflect on the care you provide.
Don’t Neglect Your Emotions
Caregiving brings forward a range of emotions. Whether good or bad, be sure to embrace these emotions and healthily channel them. Speak to someone so your emotions have a constructive outlet and make it a consistent activity. If you’re experiencing depression or anxiety, check in with your healthcare provider.
In addition to these methods for caring for yourself, be sure to keep your to-do lists up to date, block off time on your calendar for self-care, keep a daily routine, keep in touch with friends, family and do things you enjoy, as often as your schedule permits.
As a caregiver, there are absolute limits to your time, energy, and health. It’s important to take time to care for yourself and be mindful of your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Your loved ones will appreciate you for it, and you’ll feel better about tackling each day.
Pretty in Pink Boutique
Pretty In Pink Boutique is a Christian-based ministry that seeks to support women and their families in the journey with breast cancer. Whether you’re working through breast cancer or have developed lymphedema through other means, Pretty in Pink Boutique is here for you.
Pretty in Pink Boutique Locations & Contact
Maplewood Office Park
400 Sugartree Ln Ste 400
Phone: (615) 791-8767
Vanderbilt 100 Oaks
719 Thompson Ln Ste 25010
Phone: (615) 866-4102
Northpoint Office Park
2231 NW Broad St Ste C
Phone: (615) 866-4555
131 Indian Lake Rd Ste 213
Phone: (615) 866-4547