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Attention Caregivers! Your Health is at Risk!
By Diana Fletcher

There are many statistics that clearly outline all the health risks for you as a caregiver. I want to bring you the good news. You don't have to be one of those sad statistics. You have choices.

You cannot control what is happening to your loved one, but you can control what goes on with you.

You need to realize that you are important, you deserve to have a good life, and you are not selfish or bad if you want that.

There are many things that can get in the way of self-care: You, the person you are caring for, AND the perception that things cannot change.

Again, you may not be able to change the other person's situation, but you can change you. You can do this by choosing to take care of your needs. You will end up taking even better care of your loved one.

I know it seems impossible to think about yourself on top of everything else you have to do, but I want to make something very clear: You have a right to be happy. You have a right to your own life.

Start with one change. That's all. Just one.

Then in a few days, add another. Here are some examples of small steps you can take:

  • Ask a friend or neighbor to stay with your loved one for a half hour while you go for a walk.
  • Make sure you drink water all day, every day.
  • Ask someone to sit with your loved one while you eat an uninterrupted lunch.
  • While your loved one sleeps, take a short nap or sit quietly and do nothing. This is very restful and will give you renewed energy. You will also think more clearly.

You get the idea. It's the little things that make a big difference. A lot of little steps can change your life.

Note: Your loved one may not like the changes, but you need to focus on the goal: to stay healthy and strong.

You are not bad or selfish for choosing to do this. You are a great caretaker who truly knows how to take care of someone – including yourself!

Diana Fletcher is the author of Happy on Purpose Daily Messages of Empowerment and Joy for Women, and Reduce Your Stress Month by Month Stress Reducing Strategies. Her books are available on amazon.com in both print and Kindle versions.

They are also available on her website, www.dianafletcher.com. Diana can be reached through her website or (412) 612-5977.

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