The Up and Down Emotional Rollercoaster of Caregiving
The role of being a caregiver is bumpy. Caregivers feel joy and fulfillment as well as guilt, anger, depression, and loneliness on the emotional rollercoaster of caregiving.
Caregivers feel family members have left them with the goods — the responsibility of physically and financially caring for a loved one. On one hand, caregivers resent time spent caregiving and on the other hand feel guilty because they are not doing more. Life has lost balance and no one seems to understand.
Here are tips to help caregivers manage up and down emotions and make time for self-care:
- Join a caregiver support group to learn ways to cope with the emotional effects of caregiving. This can be an in person or an online group. Sometimes online groups are easier due to the time constraints of caregiving.
- Begin a personal journal to record thoughts. Journaling may help you examine feelings and emotional triggers.
- Watch favorite movies or listen to music that brings back fond memories.
- Treat yourself to time away at the movies or even a weekend get-a-way. Hire a paid caregiver if need be to allow you time away.
Replace Worry and Fear With Hope
Worry and fear over what might happen can overwhelm all of us, regardless of the circumstances in our lives. Practice replacing worry and fear with hope. How many caregivers go through life thinking about things you don’t want to happen and then experience problems?
The mind attracts what it thinks. Being on the emotional rollercoaster of caregiving requires daily attention to maintaining a positive outlook.
It is possible to change a day from bad to good by simply focusing on and being thankful for the good. Think of the times you remembered not to lock your keys in the car or noticed a nail in your tire before it went flat?
Focus on Blessings Instead of Limitations
So many times the focus is on the irritations in life rather than the blessings. There’s nothing more important than embracing the art of optimism.
The art of keeping minds focused on the positive things, conditions and circumstances we want in our life — and eliminating the negative things, conditions and circumstances. This doesn’t mean having unrealistic expectations of winning the lottery. It does mean focusing on maintaining positive thoughts that will result in positive events.
If you are a caregiver, be gentle with yourself. Take time for yourself and acknowledge that you can be in a difficult and frustrating position and still survive with a good attitude. Only you can change your mindset.
Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery. Make a cup of coffee and sit outside or take a bubble bath. A quick ten minute break may be all that’s needed to turn a difficult caregiving day from being on that emotional rollercoaster to stability.
©2022 Pamela D Wilson 2012, 2013, 2021. All Rights Reserved.