Take Care of Yourself
Focus on Mental Health
Work to identify changes in your moods, worry, energy, motivation, and appetite to understand the impact that the diagnosis is having on your mental health.
Any chronic medical condition breeds stress that might overwhelm your prior coping skills. Engaging in pleasurable activities, completing relaxation techniques, and journaling are just a few of the available coping skills you can add to your repertoire.
Again, a psychotherapist can be very helpful here and almost a necessity given your situation. A therapist can assist you in adjusting your life to your new circumstances and problem-solve when new developments emerge along the way. If your symptoms become too undesirable, schedule an evaluation from a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist that has experience working with people who have Alzheimer’s will have a solid understanding of your situation and the ability to prescribe helpful medications.
Focus on Social Health
Having a good quality of life means being a well-rounded person. The trio of physical health, mental health, and social health depend on each other to help you arrive at your peak performance.
Maintaining current beneficial relationships while adding new ones will provide you will a needed social outlet. Family and friends provide you with the opportunity to discuss and process your thought and feelings while receive new feedback.
You already know what you think about a situation. Talking to someone else will provide you with a fresh point-of-view that you did not consider previously. Socialization is a great distraction. Need to get your mind off things? Call a friend.
Take Care of Others
Unless you live on a deserted island or alone in a space station, you need people and you need them to be well. Your diagnosis obviously impacts you, but also the people around you. If they are not managing their feelings well, your own symptoms could worsen.
Taking care of the people who take care of you is a fantastic mindset. Working to improve the life of someone you care about will improve your life in return. Here’s how:
Don’t Pull Away
Often, people will think it is better for them to fade into the background after receiving an unwanted diagnosis. If you've considered this, reconsider. Pulling away not only hurts you but those around you as well.
The situation has changed. The relationship has changed, but you can find success if you are willing to try. Ending or limiting the relationship ensures damage and failure.
Let the important people in your life know what you are going through. Work to communicate clearly and effectively. Tell them what your comfortable doing and not doing. Allow them to understand that it is still okay to laugh and have fun. Their lives do not need to stop because yours changed.
Discuss what expectations you have in place for when your symptoms worsen. Many caretakers have excessive guilt regarding the decision to transition some out of the home and into a supervised environment. Having the conversation now reduces risk of future regret.