Reminder for caregivers: care for yourself, too

A mother places her hand on her daughter's face. Caring for a loved one can be stressful, especially during the holidays. Here are some tips to help caregivers reduce stress this season.

Daily life can get busy with work, errands, and family needs. If you’re a caregiver, the demands may seem overwhelming. Here are some ways to help caregivers manage stress this season.

Priority #1: Eat well and exercise

You make sure the person you’re caring for has healthy food and gets the exercise they need. What about you? If you find yourself sneaking fast food and missing your daily steps goal, it’s time to make a change.

Eating well and exercising can help you maintain your own health. They can also help reduce your stress, give you more energy to face the day, and maintain the physical strength you may need while caring for someone else.

It’s okay to say “no”

Even with a full schedule, you may feel like you must agree to more expectations or requests from loved ones. Embrace the power of “no.” Be realistic about what you can handle and turn down anything that doesn’t fit in. Prioritize and accept only requests that you really want to do — and decline what’s lower on your list. And don’t feel bad about it! Loved ones will understand.

Self-care is key

We can’t say it enough – self-care is not selfish. Caring for someone else can wear you out physically, mentally, and emotionally. You need time to recharge. Take a half hour a day to read a book or watch your favorite TV show. Head out to lunch with a friend, sit down to sketch, or squeeze in a yoga class. Whatever it is, schedule time to do something that is just for you.

Ask for help

Being a caregiver can get lonely. Make sure you are not alone. Talk to friends and family. Ask them for help. Support groups can be a safe space to share concerns and vent frustrations.

ConnectiCare can help, too. If you’re caring for a ConnectiCare member, or you are a member, call 1-800-390-3522 (TTY:711) to speak with someone in our care management team. This group of nurses, social workers, and care navigators can help you find support and resources in your community.

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