Your emotional and psychological health is important and can affect your physical health. Be aware of the signs that point to caregiver "burnout." Watch for:
- Excessive use of alcohol, medications or sleeping pills
- Appetite changes — either eating too much or too little
- Depression — hopelessness, feelings of alienation, lack of energy to do new things
- Thoughts of death
- Losing control physically or emotionally
- Neglecting or treating roughly the person for whom you are caring
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Difficulty concentrating, missing appointments
If you show signs of caregiver burnout, get help. Your healthy body, mind and spirit benefit your loved one as much as they benefit you. Where does your health stand today? Where does it need to be? Start working towards achieving your health goals. Take it one day at a time and make small changes. Follow the ABCs of preventing heart disease and stroke:
- Avoid tobacco,
- Become more physically active and
- Choose good nutrition.
This will go a long way toward healing your heart and strengthening your mind.
This content was last reviewed on 12/28/2011.