Caregivers often brush aside their own needs. They tend not to go to the doctor as often as they should, and many do not get the preventative care that they need. Caregivers should especially go to the doctor on a regular basis if any chronic illness should occur. But caregiving can be physically and emotionally demanding.
Exercise is important for good health. Just a few minutes of activity a day can improve your overall well-being. It can give you more energy, reduce stress, and lift your mood. Caregivers that exercise regularly are less likely to be depressed, anxious, angry, or stressed.
Eating right can be difficult when you’re caring for someone with cancer. Appointments may get in the way of meals. You might not like the food at the hospital or transfusion center. You may not have time or energy to cook.
Caregivers tend to have higher levels of stress, anger, anxiety, depression, fatigue, loneliness, sleep problems, and fear. This puts you at greater risk of mental and physical health problems, including substance abuse.