Caring for Loved Ones Starts With Self-Care

self-careWho cares about your own needs when you’re caring for someone with a substance use disorder – right? Wrong.

When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. Why? Well, if you run out of oxygen, you’re no good to anyone.

The same rule applies when caring for a loved one with a substance use disorder. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can experience burnout, stress, fatigue, reduced mental effectiveness, anxiety, frustration, inability to sleep and more – and what good will you be then?

Start by focusing on these self-care basics:

Don’t brush off stress: Unmanaged stress will make daily tasks more daunting and, what’s worse, it can also lead to some serious health risks like heart disease, cancer and premature aging.

Watch out for these red flags:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Forgetfulness

Skip the junk food: Eating a modest, well-balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat protein and healthy carbs can help regulate your mood, energy levels and problem-solving skills – which you’ll certainly need when caring for a loved one with an alcohol or substance abuse problem.

Make a point to get moving: Regular exercise is the perfect way to de-stress and to “work out” any emotions you’re feeling toward your loved one or the situation itself.

Seek support: Reaching out to others can minimize any loneliness you’re feeling and offer inspiration and/or coping strategies for your own situation. You may also want to arrange a meeting with a mental health professional for individual or family therapy.

Help for Families in Florida
Dealing with a loved one’s addiction as a family member or friend is often stressful, frustrating and emotionally painful. At Synergy, we provide an intensive family care program to help both loved ones and clients heal together. To learn more, call today: 888-267-8070.

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