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Maintaining Balanced Emotions When Caregiving

When providing care for someone, it may begin to appear overwhelming to balance your emotions – especially if the person you are caring for is doing something to hurt your feelings. Perhaps you are taking caregiving too personally. However, how can you avoid taking this personal when the person you are caring for is family? There are a few different things that you can do to empower yourself emotionally during your caregiving.

Embrace The Choice You Made
It is important that any burden or resentment you feel is there because you made a conscious choice to provide care for someone. Perhaps you are there for a parent who helped you when you grew up, or perhaps you are assisting someone else near to you. You can make it through difficult times when you remember these deep, meaningful motivations

Celebrate The Small Victories
It is important to remind yourself that all efforts matter, especially if you feel a bit discouraged. Making a difference does NOT mean that you have to be able to cure Alzheimer’s or any other affliction, oftentimes you can have a tremendous impact by just being there and making sure that someone feels loved, comfortable, and safe.

Shift Your Focus
You want to be able to take away all the negatives in someone’s life, but this is simply impossible. This is what makes it important to focus on those things that you can control, rather than focusing on things that are simply beyond your control.

Appreciate Your Own Efforts
You need to find ways to acknowledge and appreciate yourself, especially if you are not getting (enough) external validation. Remind yourself of the difference that you are making, and how you are helping someone through a difficult struggle. It might be a good idea to write down a list of all the important changes that you have made, and refer to the list if you feel that your efforts are in vain.

Take Breaks
Even though it might feel wrong, even though it might appear ‘selfish’ at first, it is vitally imperative that you take occasional breaks from caregiving. This is one of the reasons that many family members often want qualified professionals to help them out, because they simply cannot do everything themselves.

Even though it might feel counterintuitive at first, occasionally taking a break from caregiving is actually going to make you a better caregiver. This is because you have the ability to recharge and come back to your caregiving duties with a fresh new perspective.

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