1. Take a few moments at least, at the beginning of the day, to centre yourself and be still, to prepare for the day ahead.
2.Do not overload yourself nor rush things; that is when mistakes get made and you can end up feeling bad about yourself and hassled generally.
3. Do not over extend yourself, trying to please too many people and not looking after yourself as a consequence.
4. Learn to be assertive in a gentle, kind way.
5.Find things that you can enjoy in appropriate ways that do not cause problems for the person you are helping.
6.Be creative in how you can do things in new ways, don’t be too rigid or expect more than is possible of yourself or the other person.
7.Look for the small things that bring happiness.
8.Appreciate yourself.
9. Appreciate other people.
10. Acknowledge what is going on inside, do not just shut down or not deal with feelings that are uncomfortable to deal with.
11. Become more aware of the simple things in life that lift you up.
12. Pace yourself with your energy, resting for short breaks if necessary to rejuvenate your energy.
13. Being organised can help minimise time wasting, that could be used more efficiently or effectively or allow a slower pace for other things, if needed.
14. Affirm yourself.
15 .Find the emotional or spiritual support you need.
16 .Express your feelings in the right way at the right time.
17. Find outlets for excess energy and enjoyment.
18. Be kind to yourself.
19. Allow yourself time to rest.
20. Find ways to feel good about yourself and recognise them!
21. Think things through so that you know what you need to do and how to do it, in advance, so that errors and stress are reduced.
22. Find ways to support yourself that fit with who you are and how you deal with things.
23. Always remember that your relationship is important and needs the input and time to just be together in ways that are possible, even if only in tiny moments.
24. Try learning something new to find stimulation, if you have any time to do so - this can be fun and rewarding.
25. If it is tough, acknowledge it is tough rather than pretend ‘everything is fine’.
26 .Find ways to relax and unwind if possible.
27. Don’t feel guilty if you have some time when you enjoy yourself.
Caring can be a long term commitment. Friends, family, neighbours often walk away over time. This may be painful, sad, frustrating, annoying, but true. Being the best carer you can be, does not mean you have to pretend not to have feelings, to not look after yourself, to not be upset too at all the long term losses and necessary changes forced on you by the illness.
There is no magic wand to take way the terrible suffering and grief you may carry or witness. If you have any sort of faith or system of belief, this can be a huge strength to help get you through some of the most difficult, painful moments.
(From: "Caring For ME : A Pocketbook Course For Carers "


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