Being a caregiver is an experience where you give and give to help your senior family member, but are you in danger of losing yourself? If your entire identity becomes tied into just being a caregiver, that happens a lot more quickly and thoroughly than you might expect.
Be Careful Not to “Should” Yourself All the Time
One of the biggest problems you run into as a caregiver trying to maintain your own identity is that you get waylaid by the “shoulds.” The “shoulds” are all of those things that you tell yourself you should be doing as an effective caregiver, especially if those things are different from what you’re doing. But if what you’re doing is working for you and for your senior and her situation, that’s what truly matters.
When You Make Plans, Try Extra Hard to Keep Them
Another mistake you might make is to come up with plans for yourself or with other people and then break them regularly. What ends up happening is that you know you don’t mean it after a while. You learn that making plans with yourself or for yourself is not something that you value or that you hold as important. So you eventually stop even trying. That’s not good.
Set Aside Time Just for You
The first part of making plans for yourself is to ensure that you’re getting regular time just for you. This is time when your focus is you. That’s really difficult to do when you’re focused on being a caregiver. You may feel as if you can’t spend time on yourself, especially when there’s so much going on with your senior and her needs. But you have to focus on yourself, too.
Besides Time for You, it Needs to Be Time Fully Away from Caregiving
The other part of making and keeping plans for yourself is that the time you’re spending needs to be unrelated to caregiving. That’s also difficult to do, because right now your whole identity may feel wrapped up in being a caregiver. But you’re more than that, and that’s something you need to remember. Having that time away helps you to remember that.
It’s not easy to make these changes, but they’re necessary changes for you to make. You’re a whole human being, with more than one role in your life. When you make space for that whole human being, you become a more effective caregiver, too.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Hamilton, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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