Being the primary caregiver for someone with cancer can be a challenging and difficult experience for anyone. As a caregiver, it can be easy to forget about yourself. Follow these tips to ensure that you stay strong for your loved one.
1. Take time to check in with your feelings.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to take the time to reflect on your own feelings. Make sure to set aside time, no matter what, each week to check in with yourself. Even something as writing your feelings in a journal can be a great way to check in and see how you’re doing with all of this.
2. Take a few deep, slow breaths.
Being a caregiver to a cancer patient can be very stressful, so it’s important that you take steps to destress your life. One great way to eliminate stress is to breathe deeply. Simply inhale to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 8. It doesn’t have to be forced, just slow and smooth. You will find your mind relaxing with each breath.
3. Try meditation.
Sometimes the best way to heal is to think nothing at all. Sit upright in a comfortable position or in a chair. Close your eyes and begin to gently count up and down from twenty, focusing on each number as it passes and nothing else.
Slowly, you will find that you don’t need to keep counting and can simply be as you are. As thoughts arise, simply set them aside and allow your mind to clear. This simple act of meditation can provide you with both relaxation and mental clarity.
4. Try a yoga class.
Yoga has been proven to have profound effects both physically and mentally. Try signing up for a yoga class or take a yoga class at your gym. Taking time to get out of your mind and into your body is a great way to escape from the challenges of being a caregiver to someone who is ill.
5. Find positivity in the darkness.
It can be easy to lose yourself as you support someone else, but they’re counting on you to be their foundation. Remind yourself that what you’re doing for them is courageous and take a moment to praise yourself. Many people would run away from this challenge, but you’re meeting it head on.
Whether or not they express it, your loved one is grateful for you being there. Finding positivity even in times of difficulty is contagious. Your positive energy will help buoy the people around you.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but taking the time to make sure that you are strong and well physically and mentally can be the best way to help someone else. Your loved one may be depending on you to be there for them, and, first things first, you have to care for yourself. Only after you’ve taken care of yourself can be 100% there for someone else. Put these tips to use to help the one you love.