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Self-Care for the Caregiver: Managing Your Own Fatigue

Caregiver fatigue can be brought on by the physical and emotional demands placed on you because of the cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Below is a list of fatigue-fighting tips. It is important to maintain your own health and well-being so that you can provide the best possible care to your loved one.

  • Take time for yourself and your own needs. Watch for signs of stress such as impatience, loss of appetite, or difficulty sleeping.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Drink plenty of water or juice every day.
  • Exercise by taking short walks daily or at least three times a week.
  • Listen to relaxation tapes or music to help reduce stress.
  • Space your activities with short rest periods. Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t overload your daily list of “things to do.” Be realistic.
  • Let family members and friends help. Delegate household chores, meals, baby sitting, or shopping.
  • Share your feelings with family members or other caregivers, or join a support group.
  • Keep the lines of communication open between your loved one, your family and friends, and the oncology nurse.
  • Give yourself credit — the care you give does make a difference.

For more information about caregiver fatigue, talk to an oncology nurse.

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