Breaking through barriers for workers
who have children with special needs

Ways to Cope

When the Caregiving Burden Becomes Too Heavy

  • Unload a little – even it it’s on someone else’s shoulders.
  • Do that one thing you love, even if it’s not timely.
  • Remind yourself it’s okay to cry – crying releases more than tears.
  • Walk!
  • Stop everything you’re doing – find a quiet spot and begin writing down all those things that make you happy.
  • Turn things over to someone else. Get free, even if only for an hour.
  • Make sure you get enough rest, even if it means having someone stay to take care of the one you care for.
  • Take things as they come – don’t think too fare ahead on things.
  • Let things go if you’re too weary to do them. Dishes can stay in a sink for days, if necessary.
  • Breathe! Take long, slow, deep breaths. It’s amazing how often caregivers hold their breath without knowing it. Breathing deeply releases stress.
  • Keep things in perspective:
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    • Know you cannot make life perfect for the one you care for – life is not perfect.
    • Realize that things will not always work out the way you’d like them to.
    • Recognize you can’t do everything.
    • Have someone you can trust and share your feelings with – and allow them to be honest with you.
    • Let things go that don’t need to be held onto.
    • Don’t lose sight of your blessings.
  • Here are some special things I do when I’m having trouble coping:
    • I sort my jewelry (nothing spectacular, just old favorites)
    • I read old cards and letters – how quickly I am whisked away to another time.
    • I have a footbath – first very ware water for 3 minutes, then plunge them into cold water for 1 minute.
    • I call someone I haven’t talked to for years – maybe an old grade school friend.
    One sure way to improve your ability to cope with your burden of caregiving – do something for another caregiver.