Caregiver in Monticello FL
Caregiver guilt can crop up when you least expect it. The key to getting rid of it is to face it head on.
Recognize Your Feelings of Guilt for What They Are
Often family caregivers want to label guilt as something else so that they don’t have to acknowledge that they’re actually dealing with guilt. Stop denying your feelings. Acknowledge that you’re feeling guilty, even if it’s over something small, so that you can work through the feelings and set them aside for good.
Look at Your Family Dynamics
Your family dynamics can play a huge part in how likely you’ll be to start feeling guilt as a family caregiver. If you’ve always been the one to take on too much or to help out, you’re more likely to feel guilty if you’re not able to pitch in the way that you want to. It’s important to pay attention to how those old dynamics may be playing into what you’re feeling now.
Appreciate Yourself, Even if Others Don’t
Many family caregivers find that they give and give, not only to their elderly loved ones but to other family members as well, and their efforts aren’t recognized. It’s tempting to allow that to batter your self-esteem, but you can’t allow that. When you’re a family caregiver, you’re doing one heck of a job, so tell yourself that. Look yourself in the eye every day and tell yourself, “Thank you for all that you’re doing.”
Own Your Feelings and Don’t Suppress Them
When you realize that you’re starting to feel guilt, or any other strong emotions, don’t ignore them. Shoving your feelings aside or ignoring them only causes them to get louder. The quickest way to deal with your emotions is to acknowledge them by name and to examine them. Once you do that, they lose their power to derail you.
Care for Yourself
You may feel that you’re just too busy to take care of yourself the same way that you always have. That can be true in some respects, but if you’re not taking care of you, who will? You absolutely must make self-care your first priority. Only then will you be able to be a better family caregiver for your elderly loved one.
If you’re feeling caregiver guilt, give yourself the time and the space that you need to deal with your feelings appropriately. That can even mean hiring elder care providers to give you some space.