Caring for someone you love who has cancer is one of life’s biggest challenges. You want to balance preserving your relationship before the diagnosis while providing sufficient care and support to meet their needs. It is a tricky act to maintain and is often mentally and physically exhausting. It’s vital to understand that it isn’t selfish to need your own support when caring for someone with cancer. If you want to provide the best care, you need to feel strong in yourself. Here is a quick guide to looking after your own wellbeing while caring for someone else.
Ask What You Can Do
Just as it’s important to uphold the agency of the person you’re caring for, it’s also important to know where your help is required and where it is not. You will feel more confident in your caring abilities once you know what your loved one needs from you and what they can receive from elsewhere, such as their medical team. Another side to this is knowing that not all the responsibility falls on your shoulders alone. Don’t assume that your loved one needs every ounce of your energy and attention, as this will drain you and frustrate them.
Understand the Diagnosis
As a caregiver, a basic understanding of your loved one’s diagnosis can go a long way to helping you provide the right kind of support. Look into their illness and its specific details to learn more about it. For instance, you may need to find out what is lymphoma? The more you know about what your loved one is going through and their troubles, the better you can approach their care. This means less wasted energy and more effective caregiving.
Access a Support Group for Carers
As mentioned earlier, it is not selfish to need your own source of support as a caregiver. This can be difficult to believe since you are caring for someone much more obviously in need than yourself. However, if you don’t regularly restore your own resilience and energy, you won’t be able to look after yourself or your loved one. There are special support groups just for carers that let people share their stories in a safe place with others going through similar experiences. Here, you will find it easier to let off steam and build connections with individuals who understand your challenges.
Carve Out Time for Yourself
Although you may feel obliged to provide constant care for your loved one, it is important to allocate time for yourself to relax and take your mind off any worries. Don’t feel guilty for taking a walk in the woods or running yourself a bath. These small restorative activities will help you feel stronger and more capable as a caregiver.
Cancer affects more than the person diagnosed. The ones who love them must also face this challenge. As a caregiver, it’s essential that you understand the value of your own wellbeing as a means to providing better support for your loved one as they battle their illness.
Dan L is a dedicated follower of the latest self-care strategies and research, following trends across the sector diligently. With over a decade of experience in freelance writing for the health niche, he is also passionate about alternative medicine and the change it has on people’s lives.