Take care of yourself so that you can better care of your loved one
What are you doing to take a break? Take time out for you!
It is far too easy forgetting oneself when caring for a loved one. However, it is important to take care of yourself in order to take good care of your loved one. Be attentive and respect your limits. Do not underestimate your physical and emotional fatigue. When you are too tired, your support becomes less positive and your loved one can feel it. The best way to help your loved one is to not exhaust yourself.
Give yourself some time to recharge your batteries. Schedule time for yourself each day and write it down in your calendar. Make a list of activities that make you happy and practice one at least once a day … impossible you might say ?! These activities do not have to be expensive or time consuming.
- Take a nap to recharge
- Do manual activities:, knit, draw, cook
- Immerse yourself in a good novel, listen to music, watch a movie
- Practice a physical activity
- Take a walk; go outside for fresh air even for a few minutes.
- Practice a relaxation technique such as mediation or yoga
Identify a list of people who you like being around, people with whom you have fun. Spend more time with them or invite them to join you in one of your activities. Even if you are less free than before for your friends, try and make time for them. Whether it is a quick phone call or a stroll outside- it will make you feel good. Let your friends take care of you and do not hesitate to confide in them, or in someone you trust.
These breaks will allow you to free your mind and evacuate tensions. Above all, do not see these moments as a treat, but as a necessity or, if you prefer, as an important appointment with yourself. Although organization is key, a schedule that is too rigid, that does not take into account unexpected situations, can generate more stress than good so stay flexible!
Parkinson’s is a long-distance run and not a sprint. To take care of someone living with Parkinson’s disease, you also need to take care of yourself! Be your own caregiver first!