Your days as a family caregiver can become hectic. You’ve planned to join a group of friends for lunch, but your husband had a difficult evening, and neither of you got much sleep. Your cat decided this was a great day to bring a prize bird into the house and is running around with it. The garage door got stuck, and you can’t get it closed and don’t forget your appointment with your accountant is tomorrow, and you haven’t finished pulling the remaining documents together. Sigh.
It doesn’t have to be that crazy for you to get out of balance, it can sneak up on you and one day you realize you are at the brink of losing it. My suggestion? Let yourself feel the emotions that are bottled up inside. Stop controlling or holding back or attempting to ‘keep your chin up.’ Sometimes you need to let yourself BE in it, which may entail crying, venting or just being silent.
Finding ways to help support yourself in your caregiving role is crucial, and the best way to care for your loved one is to be fully present through self-care. Part of that is allowing yourself to stop, decompress, fill your tank up, and know the outcome will be better. We tend to think about the past, ways we should have, could have and worry about the future with fear and uncertainty, so our mind is not in the present moment. If you need to cry, let the tears come. If you need to scream, go out to your car and let it out. Journal about it, get together with friends or other caregivers and talk about it, take a walk (nature is VERY healing).
Don’t say ‘yes’ to things when ‘no’ is what you want or need to say. Set boundaries on what you can do and reach out to family or friends when you need help. You are an amazing person; please find time just for YOU to be present and heal.