Caregiving is one of the most difficult jobs you’ll ever take on. And no matter how hard you try, there are a world of emotions you’ll cycle through as you start and end each day.
It’s natural to feel these things. How you deal with them determines how well you move forward.
Guilt can show up in a number of different ways. It can come if you believe you aren’t doing enough. It can peak its head if you feel like you’re doing the wrong things or don’t have the right resources at your disposal. It comes from feeling your “wrong” and don’t have what it takes to do it the “right” way. Your perceptions always seem to get in the way.
Caregivers always seem to move in the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” lane of life. They always have a list of things that are impossible to get done. But if you don’t find a way to push through the guilt, you’ll start seeing the signs in your own health.
When guilt nags at you, stand back and assess: what’s triggering this? How realistic are your expectations? How would others view the situation from the outside looking in? Guilt isn’t something that will ever go away. But you can learn to recognize it, give yourself permission to feel it, and learn how to move through to the other side.
Have you ever felt the world is out to get you? You get tired of family and friends making suggestions – yet they don’t offer help. You get tired of watching everyone else have their freedom – while you get busier with mundane tasks everyday.
The problem with sensitivity in caregiving is you spend a lot of time in your head. You don’t have people to talk out explosive situations; you deal with things on your own. You justify your daily life because you don’t have a choice. But that makes you prickly with everything going on around you.
Sometimes acknowledging this emotion can help you through. Try venting by writing in a journal, or even take up blogging. Reach out to a support group, either in your local community or online.
Let’s face it, a lot of your time is spent worrying about what’s happening in your life. Good intentions mean you want what’s best for your loved one. And when you can’t find solutions, it’s easy to worry about the outcomes. What if – you ask that again and again.
And it might not just be about the one you’re caring for. Your life is changing in big ways too. Worrying about one thing only leads to others, and pretty soon you’re one big bundle of nerves.
If you find yourself obsessing about situations, it can lead to headaches, stomach aches, and eventually anxiety or depression.
Break the pattern. When you notice yourself in an endless pattern of worry, stop. How can you change what’s happening? What are solutions? Sometimes changing your patterns is all it takes.
You should also ask for help in many ways. Finding in home care so you can take a break might help. Joining groups or activities can give you a chance to take a break.
Don’t forget, this is about you too.