One of the most common aspects of being a family caregiver is that you can wind up feeling out of touch with your own life. How you deal with that can make a big difference in how well you weather the storms that caregiving can bring to your life.
Get Specific about Asking for Help.
The other people in your life aren’t mind readers. In fact, unless you specifically ask for help with a particular task, they may not even realize that you need help with that task. That isn’t because they don’t care about you or they’re oblivious. It’s more that they don’t know that you need help. So you need to get specific about asking for help.
Look at What You Need on an Emotional Level.
After a period of time, you’re going to need to take care of your emotional health. If you don’t, that can lead to feeling overwhelmed more often. Perhaps what you need is more time doing the things that you love, such as reading or gardening. Or you might find that what you need the most is to be able to talk to someone about anything but caregiving.
Reach out to Friends and Family.
If you haven’t been spending as much time with the people that you love lately, it might be time to fix that. Find ways to reach out to friends and family members. Set up a time to go to lunch or to spend time together in other ways. Even communicating via text or email more often can help.
Join a Support Group and Attend Meetings.
Sometimes you need to talk to someone who really understands exactly where you’re coming from without having to explain a thing. Support groups can put you in touch with those people. Look for a support group and then actually go to those meetings. You’ll meet people that you need to have in your life.
Don’t let the excuse of no time keep you from allowing yourself to take the time you need to do what you need to do for your emotional health. Work with other family members or elder care providers to take over until you return.