The woman of the household has the onus of balancing the whole family's needs and this can become stressful at many times. Learn to relax, leave things undone and give your body some time.
- Family members and friends can provide support in a variety of ways and oftentimes want to help. Determine if there are big or small things they can do to assist you and your family.
- Join a support group. A support group can give you the chance to share information and connect with people who are going through similar experiences. A support group may help combat the isolation and fear you may experience as a caregiver.
- Find out what services are available in your area through government agencies, public and private community organizations, and schools.
- Focus on what you and your family member can do.
- Find appropriate milestones and celebrate them. For example, you may have to let go of "first words" or "first steps," but there are events to remember and achievements to celebrate.
Take care of yourself.
- Take care of yourself. Stay healthy for yourself and those you care for.
- Work hard to maintain your personal interests, hobbies, and friendships. Don't let caregiving consume your entire life. This is not healthy for you or those you care for. Balance is key.
- Set reasonable expectations to lower stress and make you a more effective caregiver.
- Delegate some caregiving tasks to other reliable people.
- Take a break. Short breaks, like an evening walk or relaxing bath, are essential. Long breaks are nurturing. Arrange a retreat with friends or get away with a significant other when appropriate.
Keep balance in the family.
- Pay attention to other family members. Family members with special needs require extra care and attention, but don't let it be at the expense of the rest of the family. Take time for other family members, too.
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