Prioritizing self-care when caring for a loved one with mesothelioma

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a serious form of cancer that typically comes with a poor prognosis. When your loved one gets a mesothelioma diagnosis, it can be devastating for everyone involved.

Initially, you and the other friends and family members may get caught up in the ways your loved one needs your support. During the first weeks and months, you may not notice the signs of burnout as you attempt to care for your friend or family member. However, making sure you care for yourself can be instrumental in your ability to care for your loved one.

Here’s what you should know about taking time for self-care when you have a loved one with mesothelioma.

Knowing burn out when you see it

Everyone experiences burnout differently. It is a sudden realization for some, while others slowly feel more rundown.

When you are caring for a loved one with a terminal illness like mesothelioma, you can support yourself and the other caregivers by looking for signs of burnout such as:

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Weight changes
  • Inability to control emotions
  • Frequent headaches or other body pain

Knowing what burnout looks like is the first step to getting the support you need to be a better caregiver.

I know I’m burned out; now what?

The more your loved one relies on you to provide care for them, the more it can seem like you cannot take a break. However, finding a way to take a break is what can help you continue providing excellent care for your friend or family member.

Getting time to care for yourself may take some creativity, but it can include options such as:

  • Calling a respite care provider
  • Talking to friends and family members to help
  • Hiring someone to provide support

You may find you do not need a long break, just a short amount of time to do something you enjoy and reconnect with who you are. When you take care of yourself, you will often find that you can provide better care for your loved one.