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As a caregiver to a cancer patient, you may neglect to take care of your own needs as you are so focused on caring for your loved one. While understandable, to offer your loved one the best possible care, you need to be healthy, both physically and emotionally.
.

Here are some tips and strategies for taking better care of yourself while caring for a cancer patient.
.

Ways to Care Yourself

Caring for a cancer patient while worrying about what the future holds is exhausting and can quickly lead to burnout. Caregiving can be a full-time job. Often, caregivers focus on the patient’s needs and neglect their own well-being. Caregivers may also feel guilty if they do take time for themselves.
.

The following strategies can help you remember to take care of yourself. Taking time for yourself and doing some of these things can make a difference, even if you only have a few minutes. 

  • Get some form of exercise. Try walking or taking an aerobics class.
  • Create a support system. Call a friend or family member when you need help or need to talk to someone.
  • Keep up with a hobby, such as drawing, reading or gardening.
  • Stay connected with friends where possible. 
  • Journaling provides an outlet to express yourself and process and cope with your emotions.
  • Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Caregiving can be time-consuming, and many turn to fast food or junk food for convenience. Give your body the nutrition it requires.
  • Find somewhere you can go to be by yourself.
  • Set priorities each day. Complete the most important tasks and try not to worry about items further down on your to-do list.
  • Seek proper medical care for yourself when needed and take medications as prescribed.
  • Cut out smoking and alcohol.
  • Get an appropriate amount of sleep at night and find time to rest during the day.

.

Allow Friends and Family Members to help

Friends and family may want to chip in, but they may not be sure what kinds of support you need. Make a list of all caregiving tasks. That way, when people offer to help, you can give them specific tasks.
.

Allowing people to help you with your tasks can lower your stress and anxiety levels.
.

Take a Break

If you’re a full-time caregiver to a cancer patient, you may not be able to take many days off. However, you can learn some techniques that help alleviate stress throughout the day. Learn some deep-breathing techniques. Go for short walks and listen to music or call a friend. Find what works best for you. Remember, you need at least 30 minutes to yourself each day.
.

Creating a Self-Care Plan

What is self-care?

  • Taking action to maintain or improve your mental, emotional and physical health, especially during times of stress
  • Intentionally doing things that will enhance your mood and lower stress levels.
    .

Use the following prompts to create a self-care plan. It’s easy to say you want to take more time for yourself, but it can often be hard to find the time. Consciously make time and set self-care goals.
.

Physical Self-Care Plan
As a caregiver to a cancer patient, you will not be able to take care of your loved one if you are not physically fit.
.


.

It can help to list down short term goals and some of the ways you can work towards improving your physical health. Alternatively, setting alarms on your mobile phone can serve as reminders to drink water or get to bed on time.
.

Emotional & Mental Self-Care Plan
It is just as important to take care of your emotional and mental health as it is your physical health. It is essential to take time for yourself each day and to keep up with the activities you enjoy. Make a conscious effort to find time to care for your mental and emotional health.
.
.


.

Choose some of your favourite activities and make them a priority in your day-to-day life as part of a self-care plan.
.

It can help to list down some of the activities you enjoy and create a schedule and set aside short periods of time for yourself.
.

Change the activity and adjust the frequency to fit your lifestyle and needs, but do make the time for yourself.
.

Stay Calm Strategy
When caring for a loved one with cancer, there will be times that are difficult and emotional. While it is unavoidable, a strategy can help you prepare for these moments when you feel anxious or overwhelmed.
.

Having a plan in place will help you better manage unexpected intense emotions.
.


.

It can help to write down this plan for when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. It is important to find what works best for you.
.

Ask for Help & Delegate Tasks
As a primary caregiver to a cancer patient, you may worry that if you do not take care of your loved one, no one else will. It is more than likely that there are friends and family members who want to help, they just may not know how to. Ease your load by letting them know.
.

What tasks can you delegate to someone else? It can help to write these things down. Take note of who is nearby and available to help you with some of the tasks on your to-do list.
.

Support for Caregivers

Caregiving can be a lonely experience. Caregivers often do not feel that they should be seeking support for themselves. However, to be able to care for a cancer patient, caregivers must take good care of themselves, too. Speak to members of our healthcare team if you need suggestions.
.

Caregivers and Depression

Feelings of depression, sadness, anger, or anxiety when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer is normal. However, these feelings should not interfere with your daily activities. If they do, you may need counselling from a medical professional.

Symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • Ongoing sadness or feelings of hopelessness.
  • Fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Loss of interest in most activities.
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain.
  • Agitation or restlessness.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions.
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, or helpless.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
    .

Do not be afraid to seek help. Speak to the members of our healthcare team or visit your doctor for recommendations.
.

Disclaimer:
The information on the Centre For Clinical Haematology website is intended for educational use.  It should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health professional.

Locations

Contact

WhatsApp : +65 9376 7221

Email : contact@cfch.com.sg

After Hours Emergency Line : +65 6535 8833
.

Consultation Hours

Monday to Friday : 8.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday : 8.30am – 12.30pm
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays

 

Find us On Facebook

Drop a Line

Contact Us

If you have any questions about your condition or would like to make an appointment, simply fill up the form and we'll contact you as soon as we can

© Centre for Clinical Haematology | 2020

Print PDF

As a caregiver to a cancer patient, you may neglect to take care of your own needs as you are so focused on caring for your loved one. While understandable, to offer your loved one the best possible care, you need to be healthy, both physically and emotionally.
.

Here are some tips and strategies for taking better care of yourself while caring for a cancer patient.
.

Ways to Care Yourself

Caring for a cancer patient while worrying about what the future holds is exhausting and can quickly lead to burnout. Caregiving can be a full-time job. Often, caregivers focus on the patient’s needs and neglect their own well-being. Caregivers may also feel guilty if they do take time for themselves.
.

The following strategies can help you remember to take care of yourself. Taking time for yourself and doing some of these things can make a difference, even if you only have a few minutes. 

  • Get some form of exercise. Try walking or taking an aerobics class.
  • Create a support system. Call a friend or family member when you need help or need to talk to someone.
  • Keep up with a hobby, such as drawing, reading or gardening.
  • Stay connected with friends where possible. 
  • Journaling provides an outlet to express yourself and process and cope with your emotions.
  • Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Caregiving can be time-consuming, and many turn to fast food or junk food for convenience. Give your body the nutrition it requires.
  • Find somewhere you can go to be by yourself.
  • Set priorities each day. Complete the most important tasks and try not to worry about items further down on your to-do list.
  • Seek proper medical care for yourself when needed and take medications as prescribed.
  • Cut out smoking and alcohol.
  • Get an appropriate amount of sleep at night and find time to rest during the day.

.

Allow Friends and Family Members to help

Friends and family may want to chip in, but they may not be sure what kinds of support you need. Make a list of all caregiving tasks. That way, when people offer to help, you can give them specific tasks.
.

Allowing people to help you with your tasks can lower your stress and anxiety levels.
.

Take a Break

If you’re a full-time caregiver to a cancer patient, you may not be able to take many days off. However, you can learn some techniques that help alleviate stress throughout the day. Learn some deep-breathing techniques. Go for short walks and listen to music or call a friend. Find what works best for you. Remember, you need at least 30 minutes to yourself each day.
.

Creating a Self-Care Plan

What is self-care?

  • Taking action to maintain or improve your mental, emotional and physical health, especially during times of stress
  • Intentionally doing things that will enhance your mood and lower stress levels.
    .

Use the following prompts to create a self-care plan. It’s easy to say you want to take more time for yourself, but it can often be hard to find the time. Consciously make time and set self-care goals.
.

Physical Self-Care Plan
As a caregiver to a cancer patient, you will not be able to take care of your loved one if you are not physically fit.
.


.

It can help to list down short term goals and some of the ways you can work towards improving your physical health. Alternatively, setting alarms on your mobile phone can serve as reminders to drink water or get to bed on time.
.

Emotional & Mental Self-Care Plan
It is just as important to take care of your emotional and mental health as it is your physical health. It is essential to take time for yourself each day and to keep up with the activities you enjoy. Make a conscious effort to find time to care for your mental and emotional health.
.
.


.

Choose some of your favourite activities and make them a priority in your day-to-day life as part of a self-care plan.
.

It can help to list down some of the activities you enjoy and create a schedule and set aside short periods of time for yourself.
.

Change the activity and adjust the frequency to fit your lifestyle and needs, but do make the time for yourself.
.

Stay Calm Strategy
When caring for a loved one with cancer, there will be times that are difficult and emotional. While it is unavoidable, a strategy can help you prepare for these moments when you feel anxious or overwhelmed.
.

Having a plan in place will help you better manage unexpected intense emotions.
.


.

It can help to write down this plan for when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. It is important to find what works best for you.
.

Ask for Help & Delegate Tasks
As a primary caregiver to a cancer patient, you may worry that if you do not take care of your loved one, no one else will. It is more than likely that there are friends and family members who want to help, they just may not know how to. Ease your load by letting them know.
.

What tasks can you delegate to someone else? It can help to write these things down. Take note of who is nearby and available to help you with some of the tasks on your to-do list.
.

Support for Caregivers

Caregiving can be a lonely experience. Caregivers often do not feel that they should be seeking support for themselves. However, to be able to care for a cancer patient, caregivers must take good care of themselves, too. Speak to members of our healthcare team if you need suggestions.
.

Caregivers and Depression

Feelings of depression, sadness, anger, or anxiety when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer is normal. However, these feelings should not interfere with your daily activities. If they do, you may need counselling from a medical professional.

Symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • Ongoing sadness or feelings of hopelessness.
  • Fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Loss of interest in most activities.
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain.
  • Agitation or restlessness.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions.
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, or helpless.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
    .

Do not be afraid to seek help. Speak to the members of our healthcare team or visit your doctor for recommendations.
.

Disclaimer:
The information on the Centre For Clinical Haematology website is intended for educational use.  It should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health professional.

    Contact Us

Locations

Contact

WhatsApp : +65 9376 7221

Email : contact@cfch.com.sg

After Hours Emergency Line : +65 6535 8833
.

Consultation Hours

Monday to Friday : 8.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday : 8.30am – 12.30pm
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays

Find us on Facebook

Drop a Line

Contact Us

If you have any questions about your condition or would like to make an appointment, simply fill up the form and we'll contact you as soon as we can

© Centre for Clinical Haematology | 2020