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7 Tips For Family Members To Take Care Of Yourself, Too!

January 26th, 2007 · No Comments

Family Issues #3

This is a series of posts about family issues and your pain. Pain conditions affect not only you, but also your family, even your friends. You’re invited to copy these posts and discuss them with your loved ones.

How can family members take care of themselves, too? It’s very important to realize that the stress of pain disorders affects not just the patient, but the whole family. That means that family members need to take extra care to look after themselves, too!

As a family member, how can I take good care of myself, too?

Consider these suggestions:

  • Maintain a healthy life style. Keep exercising (or start), socialize with family and friends, and eat right.
  • Find others to help with the care of your loved one. This may be other family members or friends. This will allow you to take a break at times. (Your loved one may also feel less guilty if the burden doesn’t all fall on you!)
  • Don’t personalize your loved one’s behavior. If they’re grouchy or depressed, don’t see it as an attack on you but as a reflection of their pain.
  • Avoid being either too babying or too harsh toward your loved one. Remember they’re not doing this on purpose and are suffering just as you are. Gently encourage them to function in spite of the pain and to do as much as possible for themselves.
  • Look for support wherever you can find it. If there’s a support group for loved ones of patients with pain, join it (or start one if there isn’t already one). Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family. Participate in your church, synagogue, mosque or other religious or spiritual organization. If prayer or meditation is helpful, plan time to do it.
  • Learn as much as you can about your family member’s condition and the available medical and other treatment options, and discuss them with your loved one when he or she is ready to talk.
  • Consider talking things over with your own therapist or counselor to help you cope better.

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