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Looking After Yourself, as a Caregiver

January 20, 2020
You are as important as your loved one. The demands of caring for elderly parents, an ageing spouse or loved one can put any caregiver in a stressful situation. Take time to care for yourself in the midst of caregiver duties. Doing so prevents caregiver burnout and improves your wellbeing.
Take Care of Your Health

  • Get enough sleep
  • Have proper and balanced meals
  • Find time to exercise
Do Things You Enjoy

  • Spend time to do activities that you like
  • Pamper yourself
Have self-compassion

  • Be kind to yourself
  • Give yourself credit for your efforts
  • Celebrate small victories
Be self-aware

  • Know your limits
  • Find purpose and meaning in the things that you do
  • Learn to recognise signs of stress and reach out for help if needed
Opening Up

  • Express your emotions by allowing yourself to cry or write down your thoughts
  • Talk to someone you trust to share your feelings
  • Say yes when someone offers assistance
Take a Break from Caregiving

  • Have some time away from caregiving
  • Take a rest to recharge yourself
  • Ask for help in certain errands, instead of shouldering them on your own
  Remain Socially Connected

  • Participate in support groups
  • Meet up with friends and socialise
Have Humour

  • Find simple joys in your daily activities
Practise Mindfulness and Meditation

  • Be self-aware and relax your mind
  • Do simple deep breathing
  • Try mind-body practice such as yoga, tai chi and meditation e.g. a guided meditation by Brahm Centre
Seek Professional Help

  • Speak with a doctor or counsellor to help in coping with your emotions and caregiving stress

When caregivers are consumed in their role, they find it difficult to spare time or effort for other matters. Some caregivers may feel that it is easier to stay at home or that they are unable to leave their loved ones. Spending time away from home is only for running of errands or attending doctor’s appointment. There might be lack of understanding from friends and family on what caregivers like you are going through. Over time, you may withdraw from socialising with others, resulting in an isolating and lonely experience.


There are people experiencing similar situations and feeling the same way as you do. Support groups offer a safe and comfortable platform for you to meet such people and share your experiences. You will get to learn new caregiving tips and find useful resources. Not only will you be getting help, but you will also be able to help others. Such interactions can provide emotional suppot, allow better stress management and reduce the sense of frustration and isolation in caregivers. Support groups are usually facilitated by professionals such as social workers or counsellors, though there are some peer-led groups as well.

Support Groups by Hospital and Specialist Centre

Support groups in the Community

Online Support Groups

Support groups can exist in virtual forms as well, such as online forums and social media platforms. Such platforms allow you to be part of a network of fellow caregivers, locally or internationally, without having to go to a physical location. If you do not have the time, feel unwell, or prefer to maintain a degree of privacy when sharing your personal thoughts and feelings, online support groups may benefit you.

You can search online for such support group or ask other fellow caregivers to introduce you to some groups. Alternatively, below are some online communities you can check out on Facebook:


If you would like to address your challenges on a more personal level, you can seek counselling support from professionals. They can help you to understand and deal with your issues and emotions better.

Counselling Services

Extracted from AIC Singapore

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