Executive Vitality™: Being a Caretaker

Executive Vitality™: Being a CaretakerAs executives, we have to be very careful about our own vitality when a loved one becomes ill or has an extreme medical situation.
These situations put a lot of stress on job performance, work relationships, and the health and well-being of the caregiver. In order for us to stay healthy when those we love are ill or recovering from an illness, we need to be self-aware and ask for help. This article, Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers, could be of great use to you should you find yourself in a similar situation. Major themes from the article are:

  • You cannot take care of someone else if you are in poor health. Caregivers frequently are at risk for poor health habits, depression, substance abuse, and increased risk of premature death.
  • Identify your own personal barriers – all the “reasons” you may rationalize that it is not important to take care of yourself.
  • Identify stressors and improve how you cope with stress, e.g., meditation, taking action.
  • Set goals for yourself – exercising 30 minutes a day.
  • Tools listed also include: proactively problem-solve (don’t wait to be blind-sided), hone and use the best communications skills (listening and communication for clarity), ask for help from family and friends, build good relationships and open communications with the medical professionals, get exercise, and be aware of your emotional triggers and how to manage them.

In other words, there is a lot you can do to improve what may feel like an insurmountable problem.

What would you do if faced with this responsibility (stress)? If you were on the receiving end, how would you want your loved-one to help themselves while helping you?

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