Who Do You Care For?

19 10 2011

Jessica PeacockYou may have noticed that when you completed the online enrollment survey you were asked to list anyone you are the primary caregiver for. Many of you report that you provide care for your spouse, children who live at home, or an elderly parent of family member. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone put that they are the primary caregiver for the person who matters most: themselves!

Caregiving for family members or others can be not only time consuming, but stressful and emotionally difficult as well. This is why we ask you to tell us about your caregiving responsibilities when you enroll – we know that this can be a major challenge to improving exercise and healthy eating habits. Often, those of us who take on the role of a caregiver have difficulty taking time for ourselves because we are so focused on taking care of those around us. It can feel like we are being selfish to say to family members that we need time to get to the gym or go grocery shopping, or by the end of the long day you might find that you just don’t have any energy left for yourself.

But if you don’t take care of you, how can you possibly take care of anyone else?! Making yourself a priority in addition to caring for loved ones is vital to being the best mother, father, daughter, son, husband, wife, etc. that you can be! While challenging, making time to exercise and eat well will help you feel better, stay healthier, manage the stress that comes with caregiving, and have the energy to not only take care of others but balance all the other responsibilities you have in your life.

You are your primary caregiver. Don’t neglect yourself! A healthier you will be better able to help all those around you.

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