Caregiving changes relationships. If you’re aware, you can figure out ways to preserve relationships. It is harder as there will be days when you cannot juggle. There will be days when you have to say NO to a few things or people because it might be a “Mom Weekend” where you need to be there with your mom. You need people in your life who understand that you may have to cancel plans and may have to prioritize other things. If you don’t realize this, it will change everything.

You have to speak with the person you are caring for. You might need to have similar talks with your spouse and your children. There will be times and moments when you will feel obliged to do something but don’t have the required mental and physical energy for it. Those are the days that you have to remind yourself that it is okay. If someone is pushing you to do something, you have the right to say no. No is a full sentence. You have the right to say no, “No, I can’t do that for you.” It would also be useful to get them in touch with somebody who can!

This is a good way of communicating and getting things done. You must recognize and be willing to do it. People find it easier to set boundaries with a stranger. Setting boundaries and saying no is a skill set that every caregiver must learn. If you don’t set limits, you are likely to drown in stress.

You can only perform your caregiving right when you are in a healthy state of mind, instead of unloading everything on yourself. Do not feel like you have to say yes to everything. You should realize and remind yourself very often that you are important too, your needs are important too! You need to sit down and take a deep breath and show some love to yourself. This is possible only when you learn to say NO.