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Caring at Work

By LeAnn Thieman

(Page 2 of 2)

Mentally: Pay attention to your own feelings and emotions and seek counseling if needed. While itís impossible to always leave the stress and heartache in the parking lot, try to keep emotions in check at work. Vent feelings to trusted family members or friends, not coworkers. Schedule time for yourself. Use relaxation or stress management techniques, such as meditation, visualization, biofeedback and yoga. Stay actively involved with friends and hobbies. Create a support network and/or join a support group.

Spiritually: Take time, even as little as 15 minutes per day, for prayer or meditation. Read or subscribe to inspirational magazines or books to uplift your spirits. Seek the counsel of a minister or religious leader you trust and respect.

Seek Support: Ask for help. Friends, family, and church groups are often eager to assist and are only waiting to be asked and directed. Find respite care so you can regularly take time out for yourself. There are countless community, state and national resources to support you not only at work, but at home. Most cities have programs to offer assistance to the caregiver. The National Family Caregiverís Association,, is an excellent start in accessing this information. Another great resource is your local Area Agency on Aging. With the passage of the National Family Caregiver Support Program in 2000, all AAAs have a mandate to address the needs of family caregivers. Finally, if needed, you may be able to utilize The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a national policy that guarantees covered employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to care for a newborn baby, a newly adopted child, a seriously ill family member, or to recover from their own serious health condition while ensuring their job security. Each state has different regulations. To learn about yours, call your state legislator.

Following these tips will help you better tend to your job, your loved one, and yes, yourself.

LeAnn Thieman is coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Caregiverís Soul and a nationally acclaimed professional speaker, author and nurse. To purchase Chicken Soup for the Caregiverís Soul go to the Caregiver Store at To learn more caregiving issues, her books or presentations see


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