Am I actually gaining a new perspective, or am I just too tired to even feel much about anything?
If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ve probably seen the safety demonstration that says to “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting someone else.” Some people suggest that caregivers need to think the same way and take the same safety measures: before you help someone with their mask, you need to put yours on. In other words, caregivers need to take care of themselves first. After all, how can you look after someone if you are exhausted?
Sometimes we forget that the people we are caring for are watching us do things for them. They might start feeling guilty that their caregivers are feeling burdened or overwhelmed. Your physical and emotional exhaustion may cause them stress. Ultimately, you might become unable to provide care.
This module discusses looking after your health and needs while caring for someone else. It also offers helpful suggestions and tools including the following:
Resources and research options if you are thinking about taking time off work
Basic tips to help you remember your self-care needs
Ideas for your own health and safety as the needs of the person who is ill increase
Suggestions for managing stress and dealing with anger the person who is ill may express