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Seven Tips for Reducing Chronic Stress
by Cari Ansbro
Let's talk about health. All you caregivers out there, please pay attention. You've got to take care of yourselves. I know you're protesting right now. You don't have time. All your energy goes into taking care of your family. You don't have anyone who can/will step in and give you a break. I know because I said all the same things for many years. But let's go over a few basic facts.
It's vital (seriously) that you find ways to lower your stress levels to help your body fend off the health problems caused by chronic stress. True, stress in our lives is inescapable. And our bodies' response to stress is necessary to our survival.
But we're talking about chronic stress, not immediate impending danger. Finding ways to reduce and cope with ongoing stress can help you live a longer, healthier life. After all, if you keel over from a heart attack (God forbid!) what happens to the people you love and care for?
It's NOT selfish to take care of yourself. It's the best way to ensure you can continue to be there for your loved ones. So, okay. Maybe there's no such thing as respite in your personal universe. But I'll bet there are some small things you can do.
Some of these small changes can make a big difference.
After more than 15 years of living with the daily stresses of autism and failing to prioritize my own health, I suffered a health crisis. Being unable to continue caring for my family both terrified and awakened me. It was only by making my health every bit as important as my family's that I began to recover.
I was lucky. I had a second chance. But what if I hadn't? What would happen to my family in my absence? While it's both responsible and necessary to plan for what happens to my family when I'm gone, it's also responsible and necessary to look after my health while I'm still here.
And you need to do the same. You're important too. Be well and God Bless!