Family caregivers go through a wide range of emotions that can sometimes be overwhelming. While you enjoy being able to spend time with your senior loved one, you may also be feeling negative emotions as you witness changes in his or her health. Use this guide to manage the emotional side of being a caregiver so you enjoy greater mental wellbeing.
Accept Your Emotions as Normal
Trying to fight your emotions only leads to frustration. Try not to be ashamed of feelings such as guilt because every caregiver occasionally faces negative emotions. Practice self-acceptance, and recognize your feelings are valid. Instead of ignoring an emotion such as anger, try to realize this is your mind’s way of making it clear you have needs that must be met.
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Get Your Feelings Out
Pent-up emotions eventually find their way out, and the last thing you want to do is have an emotional breakdown. Make time to vent your emotions in acceptable ways such as talking to a counselor or writing in a journal. Expressing how you feel may be enough to boost your mood.
Find a New Perspective
As you talk or write about your emotions, examine each thought to see if it can be turned into a more positive light. For instance, you could take the guilt you feel about not doing enough and turn it into a plan to find ways to delegate tasks to other caregivers. Alternatively, you could view a new health diagnosis as a chance to encourage your loved one to make healthy living a priority. Changing how you view a situation can make it easier to handle.
Take Time Out to Relax
You are more likely to feel the impact of negative emotions when you are overly stressed or tired. Arrange for professional respite care a few times a week so you can spend a few moments focusing on your needs. Whether you enjoy a walk on your favorite trail or meet a friend to talk over lunch, you can return to your caregiving duties with a relaxed state of mind.
Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, West Hartford families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
Seek Support from People Who Understand
Join a support group filled with members who are also family caregivers. There, you can find emotional support along with strategies for easing stress. Knowing you are surrounded by people who understand how you feel can make it easier to navigate those emotional swings every caregiver experiences.
Family members can relieve stress by hiring professional caregivers. In West Hartford, Connecticut, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To hire a dedicated caregiver for your loved one, give us a call at (860) 372.4500 today.