Caregiving for a loved one with a cancer diagnosis may lead to periods of stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression. Below are 5 tips that may help you cope:
- Find Support: Join a support group where you can speak to others who are caring for a family member or friend with cancer. An oncology social worker is a great resource for local caregiver support. Check out our support groups here at Cancer Pathways.
- Get Help: Reach out to friends, family or community groups that are willing to assist. Accept their help and give them specific tasks (i.e. start a meal chain). Or, hire people to assist with driving to and from medical appointments, errands, or childcare to free up some of your time.
- Make Time For Yourself & Other Relationships: To be a good caregiver, you must care for yourself. Make time for self care. Take a bath, read a book or have coffee with a friend. Doing something you enjoy can give you a much needed break and give you more energy to be an effective caregiver.
- Take Care of Your Body: Make time for exercise, healthy eating and sleep. The stress of caregiving can lead to unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking, poor food choices and not exercising. Be sure to re-evaluate your own health and seek professional help if needed.
- Be Kind to Yourself: Caregivers often times experience feelings of anger and frustration and may feel guilty for having these feelings. Be patient with yourself. Try to find a way to effectively deal with these feelings such as meditating, journaling, exercising or speaking with supportive friends.