Hello, and welcome to our new Blog!
My name is Jennifer Antkowiak (pronounced ant-CO-vee-ack) and I am thrilled to be here at Beliefnet.com to bring you tips you can use to erase the guilt, and find the time you need to take care of yourself while you’re caring for others.
Maybe you spend your days caring for a sick child. Maybe you’ve had to talk with your boss about leaving early to accompany your dad to a doctor’s appointment. Maybe your partner has just received a scary diagnosis.
Medical research shows that many of us care for others to the point that we start to neglect our own—even basic—needs. Caregivers are turning into patients as a result.
But wait! You have the power to stop that negative cycle. I’d be honored to hold your hand and help you to do just that.
I found out about the importance of self-care the hard way. I’ve juggled being a wife, mom of five, entrepreneur, author, and TV morning news anchor with being primary caregiver for my mother-in-law who died of cancer, and more recently for my father-in-law who lived with us and died of cancer this past summer.
During those life-changing experiences, I fell victim to the very common, very unhealthy caregiver lifestyle: getting only a few hours of sleep each night, not eating well, not getting any consistent physical activity…
It took it’s toll on my body and brain (whether I was ready to admit it or not). Now, I have a greater appreciation for the little things we can all do to bring about big positive changes in our lives.
Through my years anchoring TV news, I have the opportunity to interview experts, and gather information that I hope will bring some joy to your life.
I am looking to create a friendship with all of you. I’d love to hear your caregiving stories, and your questions regarding specific struggles.
I’m here to help! Please stay close! Here’s our preliminary posting schedule:
Monday – Hope: information you can use to maintain and create hope
Tuesday – Take Care Tip day - a 10 Minute Tip you can use to quickly and easily bring yourself strength
Wednesday – Caring Questions - a question you can ask your loved one to break through any awkward communication barrier and maximize your minutes together.
Thursday – Caregiver Coaching - I’ll coach you through a current caregiver issue
Friday – New Videos – new informaion and demonstrations added every Friday
Please leave comments and questions under my posts so that we can stay connected. I’m excited about building our own caring community!
P.S. Nearly four years ago, I was given an opportunity to leave TV news and start my own business. The timing allowed me to be at home with my children and father-in-law when they all needed it the most. Here’s a story that my long-time KDKA (CBS-Pittsburgh, PA) co-anchor Ken Rice put together when I left. It’ll help to give you more information on my background and transition.