This is the year you learn to take care of yourself. You cannot care for others if you are falling apart. You’ll have better quality of life, stronger ability to cope with life’s challenges, and better health if you take these simple, positive self-care steps.
1. Keep learning. Search the Internet, listen to the radio, read the newspaper, books, ask experts, such as your doctor.
2. Stay social. Call friends, email cousins, knowyour neighbors. Do not isolate!
3. Exercise. A daily stretch makes you feel goodand supports your mood. Dance!
4. Get outdoors. The sunlight hitting your retinastaves off depression. It’s good to get out and see the world is big. It makes your problems seem smaller. Walk to the mailbox.
5. Eat well. High quality foods, such as wholegrains and fresh produce have always been good for you. Enjoy your food. Sign up for home-delivered meals if that will help you.
6. Sleep. Develop a nighttime ritual. If you carefor someone, sleep when they sleep. Use respite resources if you need to get some quality sleep.
7. Wash your hands. Frequently.
8. Listen to music. It is known to improve brainfunction and memory. Sing!
9. Laugh. It beats crying and is good for yourbreathing, too. Find humor where you can.
10. Learn to ask for help. Friends, neighbors orfamily want to help but they don’t know what you need. Be specific and keep it simple, “Can you drop us at an appointment so I don’t have to park.” Another friend can pick up.
11. Accept help. “No, thanks, I can do it,” is notalways true. You can’t do it all. No one can. Accept that, and any offers of help that come your way, even a casserole.
12. Manage your money. Worrying about financesis stressful. Learn about saving, how to start saving or how to prepare a budget Visit http://americasaves.org/, plus our social workers can help you create a budget, too!
13.Set goals. Small goals that can be reached in a day are empowering and motivating.
14. Celebrate reaching goals. Getting through a day of intensive caregiving is a great accomplishment. Take pride in what you are able to do. Appreciate your efforts.
15. Positive praise. Put positive energy into theuniverse and it will come back to you. Thank people. Give compliments freely. Help someone else. Tell yourself, “Good job today.”