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Caregiver Coping

Caring for someone with a chronic illness can be exhausting at the very least – and can quickly lead to burnout. When you’re too busy being the caregiver, who is taking care of you?

The below statements describe some healthy situations and ways of coping. They’ll give you an idea of how well you’re holding up and may help you identify areas where you need to make a few changes to better care for yourself. The more of these statements you can agree with, the better. If you don’t already do these things, look for ways you can start working toward those appealing to you.

  • I have supportive family and friends around me.
  • I pursue a hobby or project for work, church or my community.
  • I take part in a social or activity group more than once a month.
  • I am within 10 pounds of my ideal body weight for my height and bone structure.
  • I use relaxation methods, like yoga or progressive music relaxation at least five times a week.
  • During an average week, I get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (such as walking or yoga) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (such as jogging or basketball).
  • I eat a well-balanced, healthy meal two or three times during an average day. A balanced meal is low in fat and high in vegetables, fruits and whole-grain foods.
  • I do something fun ‘just for me’ at least once during an average week.
  • I have a place where I can go to relax or be by myself.
  • I set priorities and manage my time every day, such as deciding what tasks are most important, how much I can and can’t do and getting help when needed.

While it can be hard to find the time to do everything on this list, they can help a lot in keeping some balance in your life. If your schedule is too busy, see who you can ask for help. If there is no one to help you, talk to your loved one’s care team to find out what resources may be available to you.