June 7th marks World Caring Day. World Caring Day celebrates supporting people on health days and encourages everyone to appreciate those who care and care for them. It is an opportunity to practice caring, no matter how big or small. We’re celebrating the caregivers out there.
Source: CDC’s Tips from a Former Smoker, Denise – Caregiver (Denise H.’s Story | Real Stories | Tips From Former Smokers | CDC)
For the Caregivers Out There
Caring for someone with one or more health issues can take a lot time and energy. It may seem hard to do, but take some time for yourself if you’re in that situation. Some ideas include:
- Find ways to be active. Even if it’s 5 minutes. Do what you enjoy and feels right in the moment you’re going to do it. Yoga or an easy walk may be more suitable than hiking up a mountain.
- Eat Healthy. Meal prep when you can. Or ask someone to make and bring you food.
- Get Sleep
- Don’t Forget to Go to the Doctor for Yourself
- Talk to Someone You Trust. This can help keep your mental self in good spirits.
- Take Time to Relax. Engage in a hobby you enjoy. Some ideas: gardening, reading, deep breathing.
- Don’t Neglect Your Personal Life. You may not be able to do everything. But don’t cut it out entirely. Find easy ways to connect with the important parts of your personal life.
- Keep Up with Your Routine.
- Ask for Help. Try to rotating caregiving activities if you can. For example, you take one month, then another family member or friend takes the next. You can also ask your support network to arrange appointments or errands for you
If you know a caregiver, encourage them to take care of themselves and support them however you can.
Source: Tips from a Former Smoker, Brett (Brett P.’s Story | Real Stories | Tips From Former Smokers | CDC)
Food For Thought
There is a certain stigma around people who smoke. Yes, smoking and secondhand smoke can cause many diseases. However, there are people who smoke who:
- Make it a point to stay away from other people when they smoke. This helps protect others from the impacts of secondhand smoke.
- Speak up about the impacts that smoking has on them. This can discourage some from picking it up. CDC’s Tips from a Former Smoker is just a select number of the people who are speaking about the harms of smoking.
- Successfully quit, which helps protect them and others from smoking and secondhand smoke.
- Are caregivers themselves.
We wouldn’t be a tobacco educator if we didn’t encourage people to quit. But it is up to the person to start that journey. Nicotine addiction can be a tough thing to overcome. Some may need one quit attempt while others may need multiple. So, please give the people who smoke in your life some grace during their quit journey.
Source: CDC’s Tips from a Former Smoker (CDC: Tips From Former Smokers – Asaad M. and Leah M.: Okay – YouTube)
Resources for Caregivers
- Caring for Yourself When Caring for Another (cdc.gov): more tips for self-care while caring for someone else
- Find Local Caregiver Resources Serving Alaska (aarp.org): Alaska based resources for caregivers
- Maintaining a Care Plan | CDC: Tips for developing/maintaining a care plan
- Caregiving for Family and Friends — A Public Health Issue (cdc.gov): Provides a broad scope of caregiving in the U.S. (i.e. how many in each state, how there health is, etc.)
I Want to Quit Tobacco or Know Someone Who Does
- Any adult:
- Check out the Alaska State Quitline or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669)
- Join Freedom from Smoking (in person in select areas or online) at Join Freedom From Smoking | American Lung Association
- Check out Smokefree Vet
- Call the VA’s Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-VET
- LGBT & Smoking | Smokefree – includes general info, apps and texting options for quitting, and a resource finder for LGBT friendly healthcare providers
- Speak Something Other than English?