Caring for someone living with a serious mental health condition, like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, can be a lifelong journey. It can be rewarding, but also can be stressful at times. It's important to find ways to deal with stress so you can stay healthy and have the energy and spirit it takes to provide ongoing support.
Being a caregiver starts with taking care of yourself. It is important to find ways to balance your caregiving role with other aspects of your life–including work, family, relationships, and activities you enjoy.
Pay Attention to Your Health
It's easy to put your loved one ahead of your health, so try to be mindful of taking care of yourself. Try to get some exercise, sleep enough, eat well, manage your stress, and see your own doctors regularly.
Ask for Help
Reach out to family and friends when you need a hand or some extra support. This could be as simple as asking them to run an errand for you, having a cup of coffee, or asking for more support during challenging times.
Join a Support Group
Join a support group for caregivers or families to get information and to connect with other caregivers.
Make Time for Yourself
Make sure to do things you enjoy when possible, such as visiting friends, reading, journaling, or going on a walk.