Many report feeling “guilty” because they want things to be different. Wishing that circumstances were different and their family member is feeling better. While the road to recovery and wellness may not be as quick as we wish, we can try to create a routine that works for all persons involved.
“We have two hands. One to help others and one to help ourselves”
All circumstances will vary slightly because loved ones may require different needs. Whether they need emotional, physical, or intellectual assistance, support can be an important aspect. For instance, if you’re a primary caregiver who offers support, try to plan a time at the end of the day where you feel supported.
If you notice that you regularly feel emotionally drained, schedule a phone call with someone who lifts your spirits. Take note when you’re near your capacity and take some time to read a book, try a new recipe, go for a walk, etc. so you can hit the “refresh” button.
Finding and utilizing self-affirmations can have a positive impact. An example is “this too, shall pass,” recognizing that the difficulties we face today will not be forever.
Enlist the help of others, when applicable, to directly help your loved one or to help yourself. Guilt and loneliness are commonly associated with long term caregiving. Remember that you are not alone. Your goals matter and you can make them happen.
Support groups for caregivers are often available in different communities. Please reach out to one of your local case managers, mental health practitioners, and/or medical professionals for specific resource options in your community.
Megan Bowling, M.A., LMFT