At the FACES support groups we often ask the family member if they are taking care of themselves.  We know they are taking care of their family member that is struggling with a brain disorder, and we know all too well how hard it is to think of and make time for yourself when you are worried about your loved one’s health and well being.  But if you do not take care of you, who will?   If you do not take time for yourself, eventually you will not be able to take care of anyone.

So here are a few suggestions to consider.

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  • Laugh about something everyday.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Talk with someone every day.
  • Let family and friends help. Give them printed material on memory disorders so they can better understand your relative. Give them a chance.
  • Give yourself permission to have a good cry. Tears aren’t a weakness, they reduce tension.
  • Exercise. A brisk walk counts.
  • Get Sleep!
  • Avoid noisy and/or tension-filled movies at night. The late news itself can add to stress. Skip it.
  • Reduce daily caffeine intake.
  • Get professional help if you feel your support system isn’t adequate or if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Take a break very day, even if it’s only 10 minutes alone in the backyard.
  • Explore community resources and connect yourself with them.
  • Listen to music.
  • Learn relaxation techniques.
  • Regularly attend one or more support groups and education workshops.
  • Give yourself a treat at least once a month: an ice cream cone….a new shirt or dress….a night out with friends….a flowering plant.
  • Know your limitations.

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