Let’s face it, taking care of a sick child can be very draining emotionally and physically. Stress can lower you immunity, energy, mental clarity, and emotion well-being. One of the best things you can do for your child and other family members is to take care of your health.
But how does one do that when there are so many needs to be attended to? To think about exercise or rest, can seem ridiculous – one more “should” to add to the list! So let’s look at the time vs. the benefits of self-care.
Sleep – It affects everything. When sleep is lacking, cortisol levels go up which increases emotional and stress. Sleep deprivation affects mental clarity, frustration tolerance, and physical stress. If you are allowing enough time for sleep but can’t seem to get to sleep or stay asleep, consider, relaxation techniques or therapy.
Diet – If you have friends offering to cook for your family, let them! After all, they can’t fix your big problem but little comforts are good for you and they will feel good about helping. Or maybe just have a friend come over and prepare a big bowl of salad or chop up veggies and store them in containers to snack on.
Exercise – Even a little exercise can go a long way in helping you feel refreshed. But how do you fit it into your life? Think about 15 minute workouts or take your spouse, another child, or a friend for a couple laps around the block. Don’t be overly ambitious. Just exercise enough to get the benefits.
Stress can narrow our thinking so consider brainstorming ideas with a friend if can’t come up with self-care options. You are a key person in your child’s care. Taking care of yourself helps everyone.