News You Can Use A monthly newsletter from the Cancer Learning Center February 2008 – Issue 33
Caring for Yourself While Caring for a Loved One If you are helping a loved one through cancer treatment, then you are a caregiver. You know that being a caregiver can be an overwhelming job. As you focus on your loved one, it’s natural to push aside your own feelings and needs. However, this can be unhealthy for you, and if you’re not healthy, you won’t able to care for someone else. Here are some ways to care for yourself when you’re caring for a loved one.
Stay physically healthy. When you’re caring for someone else, it’s easy to let go of your good eating and activity habits. But staying healthy is important so you can be there for your loved one. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise a day. This can be as easy as taking a walk while your loved one is resting. Pay attention to what you eat and try to keep a balanced diet. It’s important to get plenty of rest, too. This will help you both physically and mentally.
Get emotional support. You may experience many emotions while caring for your loved one. You may feel sad, angry, lonely, overwhelmed, discouraged, worried, or guilty. There are no right or wrong emotions when it comes to caregiving. To help you cope, talk to a friend, counselor, or spiritual leader. It’s OK to cry or to express
how you feel. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a break. Remember that you are doing the best you can. You may also want to join a support group just for caregivers.
Ask for help. Remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family members for help with daily tasks, like preparing meals, child care, or visiting the doctor. Asking for help is a also good way to make time to take care of you.
If you want to read more about how to take care of yourself when caregiving, please visit the Cancer Learning Center (on the fi rst fl oor of Huntsman Cancer Institute), where you will fi nd a collection of books about caregiving.
The Cancer Learning Center (CLC) is a free resource library on the fi rst fl oor of
Huntsman Cancer Institute
(801) 581-6365 • (888) 424-2100 huntsmancancer.org/clc
FROM THE CLC Books
The Fearless Caregiver: How to Get the Best Care for Your Loved One and Still Have a Life of Your Own
Caregiver’s Reprieve: A Guide to Emotional Survival When You’re Caring for Someone You Love
And Thou Shalt Honor: The Caregiver’s Companion
May I Walk You Home? Courage and Comfort for Caregivers of the Very Ill
Making the Moments Count: Leisure Activities for Caregiving Relationships
The Ultimate Cooking Companion for At-Home Caregivers
Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal
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