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As caregivers, the first step to caring for others is caring for oneself, being kind to oneself. Unless our tank is full of loving kindness towards ourselves we won't have the reserves to pour it out into the lives of others.

Family members who are caregivers often suffer from burnout because the demands can be great and over time one's tank runs dry and needs replenishing. The same goes for caregivers for hire who work to help enhance their clients quality of life, but fail to set aside time tend to their own needs.

The first rule of taking care of the caregiver is to be kind to oneself. Here are some helpful tips:

Being kind to oneself means different things to different people, but I think we can all agree that one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves to maintain a health body and a healthy mind. We need both to have the stamina, strength, and mental and physical energy to thrive and give out of an abundance. When we lack those things, we become vulnerable to fatigue and illness, depression, and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Find time to rest and let your body rejuvenate - perhaps it's enjoying a staycation if even for a day, or getting a massage, or going for a swim, or putting your feet up and immersing yourself in a good book, or taking a long walk in the park. Prayer/meditation, and movement are all important - Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong are a few meditative exercises that are very kind to the body and mind.

What is it that you like to do to be kind to yourself? What gives you a respite from all of your cares and responsibilities?

Being kind to yourself is also asking for help - if you need some time for yourself, ask someone to take over for you, even if it's for only a couple hours at a time.

Please let us know how we can be of service to you so you can take care our yourself too. We offer a free consultation. We have a two hour minimum. Serving Lane County, Oregon.

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