As a caregiver, you’re skilled at anticipating and providing for other people’s needs. But taking care of yourself may often fall by the wayside.
Neglecting your own needs is a recipe for burning out and falling ill. The emotional and physical strains of caregiving put you at greater risk for depression, chronic illness and even premature death.
Caregivers often feel that they have no options and no control, says Frances Huang, a medical social worker at Mills-Peninsula who has provided one-on-one counseling and facilitated classes and support groups for caregivers for 20 years. You can use a number of effective strategies to make caregiving less stressful and more sustainable, she says.