Keep some fun in your day. Join an online scrabble tournament, practice your golf swing, or master the yo-yo. A daily dose of fun is good medicine, and doesnt require money, a car, or huge blocks of time. If your loved one is in the early stages of the disease include them in short walks, board games or scrabble.
Do something new. Even while youre caring for a loved one, find the time to learn something new. For example, try a foreign language program that allows you to go at your own pace or try teaching yourself to sing or play an instrument. With only small blocks of free time, you can still master a new skill.
Feed your sense of humor. Laughing is a well-known antidote to stress, sadness, illness, and boredom. Give yourself permission to laugh out loud at the absurdities you and your loved one experience. Rent comedies rather than melodramas and opt for light-hearted reading material, too.
Ask for help. Studies show that those with strong support systems, creative respite arrangements, and regular time away not only fare better but find more satisfaction in their caretaking roles. Join a support group, schedule frequent breaks, and seek professional help if you need it.
Robin Westen is ThirdAges medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. She is the author of Relationship Repair.
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