Friday, February 5, 2010

When You Can’t Take Care of Yourself

Illnesses can be debilitating and everyday life duties (eating, bathing, paying bills, cleaning…) can become overwhelming. If you find yourself in a position where you can no longer keep up with it all, you may need to turn to someone else for support. Hospitalisation is one option, but if you are unable to get admitted or you don’t want to stay in a hospital, staying with a friend or family member is another option.

But it can be difficult to be away from home; Your routine is influenced by your home environment and there is a certain amount of comfort in routine, and all of your stuff is there.

Here are a few ways you can make your stay away from home more familiar:

• Bring some of your favourite objects with you: your favourite coffee mug, pictures, a comforting blanket, your own pillow, a plant, a food you like to eat for breakfast…
• Bring some activities with you: yoga mat, computer, word games, crafts…
• If you have any prior scheduled activities, keep them.
• Do what you can at your host’s house: help with the dishes, make a thank-you card, set the table, make coffee in the morning…any small task that will help you regain independence.
• Go home for short periods of time: spend your afternoons at your house in increasing amounts of time to regrow accustomed to living in that place on your own again. This can help reduce anxiety and also keep your place in order while your gone (e.g. bringing the mail in, feeding pets, watering plants…).

Most importantly, remember that it is ok to allow yourself to be taken care of and it is not a sign of weakness or laziness but is rather a sign of mature awareness of what you have to do to ensure you receive the best care (from yourself or others) possible.


  1. How can one get admitted without money to pay?

    1. In Canada it is free to go to the hospital.