Take Care of Yourself, Too

Easy ways caregivers can recharge each day

woman thinking

Being a caregiver may mean putting someone else first, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your own needs. Without self-care, you’ll raise your risk of feeling down, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight gain. Here is advice from the Family Caregiver Alliance to help carve out more “me time.”

Talk yourself into it.
Does it seem impossible to find time for yourself? The Family Caregiver Alliance offers these words of wisdom: “Your mind tends to believe what you tell it.” Tell yourself you deserve downtime. It’s okay to ask for help. Write positive phrases on sticky notes in visible places, so that you see them daily.

Use your time wisely.
Unsure how to make your “me time” meaningful? Here are some activities that offer multiple benefits and take just a few minutes to do:

  • Read a book while taking a warm bath. It may help you fall asleep.
  • Invite a friend to enjoy healthy takeout with you, or cook a meal together.
  • Take the person you’re caring for outside with you while you garden or enjoy nature. 
  • Try a yoga or tai chi class.
  • Schedule a checkup or other health care visit for yourself. It’s very important to look after your own health and well-being.

Ease the burden:
Ask for help. Make a list of specific tasks you would like done. This will free up your time so you can do some-thing you enjoy.

Pause and reflect.
During your “me time,” how did you feel? More patient? Calmer? Energized? As you make more time for self-care, you’ll likely find that these positive attributes will be directly reflected in the care you offer loved ones.


Give yourself a 15-minute block of time to “feel everything” — sadness, anger, guilt.  Write those feelings down. Then, close the book and let those feelings go.