One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved one is to carve out time and space for yourself. This has to be a conscious action that you take every day. It could be as simple as spending 10 minutes playing a fun computer game. If you don't learn how to take a timeout, your frustration is going to boil over. You'll be less productive and your relationship with your loved one will suffer.
- Find a way to take a 10- or 15-minute walk a couple of times a day, even if it's just around the yard.
- Choose a space in the house that is your "quiet space" where you can go take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, read a book, pray, meditate, listen to music, sing, write in your journal, talk to a friend on the phone or just rest quietly for a few minutes.
- Schedule your timeouts. Choose a time when your loved one is typically sleeping, eating, watching a TV program or seems to be at their best during the day. They will get accustomed to your little timeouts after a while and stop resenting your privacy and interrupting you.
- Insist on these moments in a gentle way and reward your loved one when you've refreshed yourself.
Quiet time and rest are not the only things that you need. Download Heart of Caregiver Journal Sheet 5 (PDF) for more tips and space to note your specific needs.
This content was last reviewed on 12/28/2011.
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