Caregiver in Matthews NC
Caregivers who aren’t used to taking time for themselves can often feel extreme guilt even about the idea of taking time away. That’s not healthy, though, either for you or for your elderly loved one.
Look at Why You Need Time for Yourself
If you’re not sure why you should prioritize time that is just for you, you may need to dig a little deeper into what that means for you. Taking time for yourself can include:
Eating right and planning healthy meals
Getting a massage
Spending time with friends
Attending support group meetings
Your personal list might include different activities, but chances are really good that all of the items on the list help you to feel refreshed and whole with energy to give back to your elderly loved one.
Remind Yourself What Taking Time for Yourself Gives You
When you take time for yourself regularly, how do you feel? Ideally, you’re feeling well-rested, centered, and able to take on all the various challenges that you face as a family caregiver. You’re less likely to have a short temper or to feel that the world is working against you. Take a few moments also to think about how you feel and how you react when you’re not able to get any time for yourself. That can help you to change your priorities quickly.
Change Your Thinking
The biggest reason that family caregivers experience feelings of guilt when they decide to take time for themselves is that they fear that they’re being selfish. The harsh truth is that you do have to care for yourself in order to be able to care for anyone else. Turn your thoughts from believing that this is selfish to realizing that this is necessary. You may need time and tools such as counselling or journaling to truly change those beliefs, but it can be done.
Line up Care for Your Loved One
When you do decide to take time for yourself, make sure that you have care options lined up for your loved one. This could mean that other family members are able to take over for you for an afternoon or elderly care providers come by for the day. Find the best solutions for your situation.
You might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but the more you allow yourself to experience how much time to yourself gives back to you and your loved one, the easier it gets.