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Caring for Your Body

You may find yourself so busy and concerned about your child that you don't pay attention to your own physical health. But it's very important that you take care of your health, too. Doing so will give you strength to help your child. It's important to:

Stay up-to-date with your medical needs

Keep up with your own checkups, screenings, and other appointments.

Watch for signs of depression or anxiety

Stress can cause many different feelings or body changes. But if they last for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor.

Take your medicine as prescribed

Ask your doctor to give you a large prescription to save trips to the pharmacy. Find out if your grocery store or pharmacy delivers.

Try to eat healthy meals

Eating well will help you keep up your strength. If your loved one is in the hospital or has long doctor's appointments, bring easy-to-prepare food from home. For example, sandwiches, salads, or packaged foods and canned meats fit easily into a lunch container.

Get enough rest

Listening to soft music or doing breathing exercises may help you fall asleep. Short naps can energize you if you aren't getting enough sleep. Be sure to talk with your doctor if lack of sleep becomes an ongoing problem.

Exercise

Walking, swimming, running, or bike riding are only a few ways to get your body moving. Any kind of exercise (including working in the garden, cleaning, mowing, or going up stairs) can help you keep your body healthy. Finding at least 15-30 minutes a day to exercise may make you feel better and help manage your stress.

New stresses and daily demands often add to any health problems caregivers already have. And if you are sick or have an injury that requires you to be careful, it's even more important that you take care of yourself. Here are some changes caregivers often have:

  • fatigue (feeling tired)
  • weaker immune system (poor ability to fight off illness)
  • sleep problems
  • slower healing of wounds
  • higher blood pressure
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • headaches
  • anxiety, depression, or other mood changes

"My run is my time for me, and the only way I can keep it together." - Gail

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