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The thread about care takers neglecting our health has been so heartfelt -- I am wondering if anyone would like to share a bit about his they do care for themselves --

Yoga? Meditation? Playing with a pet? Studying online? Cooking? Journaling? Hiking? Swimming? A night out with friends? Prayer? Volunteer work? Art? Netflix?

What do we do that gives us joy? I try to do the above, when I have time, and I read. A lot. It helps. And it would help to hear what others do, too.

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I keep a file of helpful advice and techniques for managing stress. One sheet has a list of suggestions (source unknown) which I more of less follow:
1. Be proactive not reactive..... Plan for projects
2.Prioritize... i.e make a list of what you need to do
3.Work to change what needs to be changed and learn to accept the things you can't change
4. A work layoff, a divorce or death are things you can't change but you can control how you react or respond to them
5.Reduce stress by using the coping mechanism that have worked in the past
6.Look for new ways of coping
7.Exercise
8.Get plenty of sleep
9. Eat healthy foods
10. Talk to someone about your issues, both good and bad
11.Take time out
12. Deep breathe and use relxation techniques.
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All good advice, but I'm finding that I need at least two days out of the home per week: one for doing errands and lessons (or maybe exercise if you do it out of the home -I exercise at home) and one for just fun (lunch with friends, a movie, going to a park, whatever). I hire help at least one day a week, take my husband to daycare at least once a week. And in the fall and winter I go to symphony and lectures every month. You HAVE to have "me" time or you get resentful.
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The thing that works best for me is self soothing. When I do things outside the home, there is still that shadow of caregiving hanging over things. I know I have to get back, and I know all the mundane chores are waiting for me. I found it better to calm myself by sitting in the yard and letting peace wash over me. I realize I am not in charge of anything, so I just turn it over.
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For me, it is the process of detachment. I will provide for need but I mentally detach from demand and abuse. This is new to me, but has worked very quickly, no guilt, either. New mantra -- detach, detach, detach.
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the best thing I do for myself is exercise physically. I like going to the gym to get a cardio workout and lift weights. In nice weather, like to walk around the bay near my home. Exercise reduces my stress and anxiety and keeps me fit so I that I can continue to provide care to my mother.
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Going to lunch with a friend.

In May I got some in-home care to help with my husband, and I decided to get back in touch with friends by going out to lunch. May through July I went out a total of 2 times. Hmm ... takes more than good intentions, I guess. But for August I've got 3 dates set up, and have gone on one of them.

I work from home, which is awesome and wonderful and makes keeping my dear hubby home possible, but it sure reduces the amount of contact I have with adults! I'm hoping that going out to lunch a few times each month will help fill that gap.
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i need answers to this too. even when i go anywhere i'm worried about him.
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I have found if I do not react is at this time less stress. He won't remember in 2 min.what any of it was about anyway. After a few min. of not reacting w/words I actually fell I won a prize. It actually is a test for me on my part to see if I can remember "Now don't say anything and it will all blow over".
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When the going gets rough inside, I go to the outside for awhile and set in a lawn chair and pray! I always have one of my cats with me. If I didn't have these guys, I would go insane! I also have one for inside who goes through the rough times with me. She is a blessing! Dementia is not a pleasant thing to experience 24/7 and it is about to "whip" me because every day, I can feel it. When I do get out and my husband sets with my Mom, like was said above, you can't seem to enjoy what you went out to do, because you know what is facing you when you get back home and you worry the whole time you are out. Everyone tells me that it's not gonna get any better and that is really NOT what a caregiver wants to hear, but I am afraid it's true. Hang in there and best of luck!
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Change the focus.... I am stuck sitting around a lot... so I have enrolled in a school program that requires studying. Now my sitting around is working towards my life after being a granny nanny.
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