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Tips for Staying Healthy While Being a Caregiver for Someone Else

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
04/10/15  11:04 PM PST
Caregiver Burnout

By Karen M. Wyatt, M.D., for The Huffington Post

The National Alliance for Caregiving estimates that each year 65.7 million Americans, or 29% of the adult population, provide care for an ill or disabled relative in their home. Furthermore, these family caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week fulfilling the needs of their loved ones, in addition to all the other demands of work and home life. If you are one of these hardworking caregivers, or you know someone who is, read on to discover some important tips for self-care for those who care for others.

One of the most difficult aspects of being a caregiver for another person is finding time to take care of your own needs. Caregiving is an unpredictable, chaotic and continuous task so it can feel impossible to create a schedule that includes time for self-nurturing and rest.

But we know the truth of the old adage: “You cannot draw water from an empty well.” In order to continue caring for those you love it is vitally important that you learn how to meet your own needs and “fill your own well.” Otherwise, there will come a day when you have nothing left to give and everyone will suffer.

To make matters even more complicated, many of us who are drawn to become caregivers are very good at taking care of others and not so good at caring for ourselves. We have learned that it feels good to give and we excel at it, deriving satisfaction and meaning from our own acts of love toward other people.

This selfless giving is only a problem when we are unable to receive love and nurturing in return. We cannot be filled with love and continue to share it with others until we learn how to receive and hold love within us – allowing the well of love to be perpetually refilled and never exhausted.

Here are some tips for making sure that your inner well of love doesn’t run dry:

Read the tips and find the full article at The Huffington Post.

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