Lovebirds are famously known to show signs of depression when their mate dies, and we can probably all empathize with our brightly plumed friends. While mental strain such as anxiety, sorrow and stress during the time a spouse suffers a significant, long-lasting illness is anticipated, a new study suggests the healthy spouse’s physical wellbeing might be in jeopardy as well. After comparing the health status of 248 stroke survivors and their spouses shortly after the stroke and then seven years later, researchers found the caregiving spouses also experienced health issues, including bodily pain and increased risk for heart disease, stroke and premature death—all caused by the resulting long-term strains from tending to their sick partners. These results underscore the importance of daily stress management. Even if you’re perfectly healthy, decide on what works for you—yoga, meditation, running, etc.—and commit to a regular self-care practice every single day. You’ll be better equipped to handle anything that comes your way, while strengthening your mind-body connection. Have you ever taken care of an unwell loved one for a long duration? What is your anti-stress ritual? Share your experiences with our community.