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Making Time for Yourself When You are Caring for a Loved One
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Making Time for Yourself When You are Caring for a Loved One

Thursday, September 7, 2023


Few things in life can be as emotionally and physically taxing as caring for a loved one, or caregiving. Caregiving is a broad term that includes a lot of different situations. It can be as simple as checking in on an older neighbor or as challenging as caring for a loved one after a sudden diagnosis, illness or medical condition. 


Caregiving can also include people that are caring for aging parents and children at the same time. These individuals are a part of the sandwich generation. 


Regardless of your experience, most caregivers struggle with making time for themselves. When your to do list is never ending, it can feel selfish to take a few minutes for yourself. However, making time for yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. 


According to the National Library of Medicine, caregivers who experienced high strain were at risk for significant health issues compared to caregivers with less strain.  


If you feel burned out and struggle to find time for yourself, you’re not alone. Here are three ways to make time for yourself as a caregiver. 


Prioritize time to relax and de-stress

It may not be possible to go on vacation or kick up your feet for an entire weekend, but you can still find time to rest in your day. If you’re overwhelmed, try mindfulness techniques like reflection or deep breathing. Need a little bit of fun? Set aside time for a favorite hobby or make plans to see an old friend.

Add movement to your day

It may feel difficult, but making time for movement can have a big impact on your mood, mental health and physical well-being. Take 10-15 minutes to go for a walk, stretch or do some low-impact exercises.

Join a local or online support group

Taking care of a loved one can feel stressful and isolating at times. By joining a local or online support group, you can share insight, ask questions and get advice from people dealing with the same challenges you are. You can find support groups at Genesis at the link below.

Find all Genesis support groups here.


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.