The emotional side of caregiving is quite overwhelming. Caregiving can be a tasking and exhausting work, especially if the daily activities are demanding. You might shift your life’s priorities as you work round the clock to take care of others physically and emotionally.
It’s estimated that almost 16% of caregivers feel emotionally strained. On the other hand, around 22% of them feel exhausted when they finally go to bed. Some of the challenges that come with caregiving include:
This is a constant state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. Caregiver burnout can sometimes be accompanied by a change in the individual’s attitude. For instance, their attitude can change from positive and happy to unconcerned. It generally occurs when the caregiver doesn’t receive the necessary help, e.g., financially, physically, etc.
There is no doubt that caregiving is a valuable job. Still, those tasked with such responsibilities are at a high risk of getting depressed or experiencing constant sadness, helplessness, or hopelessness. They may also experience insomnia, sleeplessness, and feel demotivated.
Some of the caregiving tasks can easily lead to disgust. For instance, helping someone use the washroom or cleaning an adult who has soiled their diaper, etc. Note that this can be an awful experience since not everyone can comfortably handle matters that involve cleaning private parts.
It’s not unusual for a caregiver to find their job annoying and feel like they should stop doing it. On the other hand, it’s also common for them to sometimes feel like they love their job. These two feelings can occur from time to time, and it’s what’s known as ambivalence, i.e., a feeling of loving and hating your job.
There are bad days that usually lead to negative thoughts. Meanwhile, there are also good days that make caregivers feel like they are doing an important job.
Dealing with delicate people under your care can easily make you anxious. You might be worried that things can spiral out of control easily, leaving you helpless. On an impulse, you might feel like you are doing things incorrectly and even get the urge to scream.
There is much stress that comes with being a caregiver. There are those that experience grief, especially when the receiver’s health starts to decline. Others are embarrassed, while some feel guilty. All these feelings and experiences are valid, and no caregiver should regret what they feel.
But regardless of all these, it’s possible for those caring for those to cope. Several techniques can help ease the burnout, anxiety, and stress of this role.
This is the first step towards leading a healthy caregiver life. You need to accept your role since there’s nothing you can change. People always ask themselves why but dwelling on this won’t change the current state. Of course, you might want answers, but your loved one still needs care at the end of the day, and this is what you should offer them.
Celebrate small wins
Set a few little goals for a start, and every time you smash them, ensure that you celebrate. This is important in reminding you that what you are doing is valuable and that your efforts matter.
You shouldn’t get completely absorbed in your role as the caregiver such that you end up forgetting yourself. Remember that you also have a life to live, and you should, therefore, choose yourself as well. You need to build relationships with other people who can support you. It’s all about balance because you need to feel fulfilled to take care of others fully.
Do your best
The goal should be to do what you can in the best way possible. There are things you can’t control; hence you shouldn’t try to spend hours stressing over them and wishing you could change a thing. Focus on what you can control.
As much as you should keep physically fit, don’t forget to prioritize your mental health. Ensure that you can figure out signs of stress and burnout. This will ensure that you seek help on time. Caregiver stress can easily lead to a compromised immune system, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Being in charge of a loved one who isn’t healthy isn’t easy. Regular therapy sessions will help you cope with stress, grief, and isolation better.