Jennifer Antkowiak

I care about ______________.

Quick. What are the first five words that pop into your head to complete that sentence?

Keep goin’…What are the first ten words that pop into your head?

Be honest. Did the word “me” make it to your top ten list?

Chances are good that it didn’t, and unfortunately, that means you’re pretty normal!

People, especially women…especially caregivers tend to put their own health and wellbeing on hold, thinking that if they spend less time on themselves, they’ll have more time to spend on the people and things they care about.
More minutes does not equal better quality!

Caring for yourself is the best thing you can do to make sure that you have the energy you need to give the kind of care you want to those you want!

Caregiver ugggh that word! What image do you get in your head when you read it? A dimly lit somber room with an older person holding vigil for an even older person?

Get that vision out of your head, please! Yes, it’s true that in the traditional sense of the word a caregiver is someone who takes care of a sick or elderly family member…I get that, and I am on a passionate mission to help those 50-million volunteer family caregivers.


I as a wife, mother of five healthy young children, step-mother to an older daughter, “traditional” caregiver for my father-in-law, sister, aunt, business owner, and more…I fully understand that:
—new moms are caregivers
—new couples are caregivers
—employees are caregivers
—friends are caregivers
and it goes on and on.

My way of thinking is that anytime we care for someone or something else to the point that it makes us struggle to care for ourselves, we are a caregiver—and as such—are putting ourselves at risk for all of the same proven medical risks as traditional caregiver. Did you know that caregivers are at increased risk—sometimes by as much as double the normal risk—for developing heart disease, certain cancers, stress-related illnesses, depression, and more?
It’s true.

The good news is that we have the power to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start on a new, healthy path of caregiving!

I don’t want you to stop caring! I want to help you to care stronger—care smarter!

As a result of my own caregiving experiences, and my journalism background, I have spent years interviewing experts in a variety of fields that can help with stress relief, nutrition, sleep, positive thinking, fitness, personal time, appearance, and organization.

I gathered up important information on each of those topics, but then I also put together little action plans…strategies that you can use in ten minutes or less—that will get you started on that healthier path quickly!

I put all of that information into a book called Take Care Tips that was released earlier this year. I have a second book coming this fall, and I’m in development for national multimedia projects to help all of us learn to care for ourselves in a practical—but extremely efficient and effective way (I understand time and budget constraints)!

Please visit TakeCareTips.com to find out more about the book…

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad