Caregiver responsibilities can feel like they take over your whole life. It takes so much of your energy, time, and focus that when you no longer need to provide care, for any reason, it can leave you feeling lost. Other common feelings to expect when you’re no longer assisting as caregiver for a loved one include:
- And so many others
Finding Yourself After Your Caregiving Responsibilities Are Over
Give yourself time to figure out what living without putting someone else’s needs first feels like. Take time for reflection on your caregiving experience. What did you learn? How did it change you?
It’s expected that you may feel some level of guilt for letting go of your caregiving responsibilities. You might feel as if there were things you should have done differently or might have done better. The “what ifs” are quite common, and it can be easy to fall into feelings of regret. It’s important to forgive yourself and change your internal dialogue to focus on the many positive ways you impacted your family member while providing care. Accept any mistakes, real or perceived, by understanding that you are human and that you did your very best. Extend the same grace to yourself that you would extend to someone else.
After you’ve processed the complex emotions surrounding this transitional time, think through the following:
- How do you want to restructure the new free time you have?
- Are there volunteer opportunities that interest you?
- How can you rebuild any relationships that have taken a backseat to caregiving?
- What hobbies, activities, and passions do you want to pursue?
Make small goals that can be achieved in a reasonable timeframe rather than biting off more than you are able to chew. For example, you may choose to reach out to one trusted friend and see if they’d like to meet for a weekly lunch or coffee date. Take sufficient time for self-care to nurture both your body and mind, and gradually add on more activities as you feel prepared to take them on.
Talk to Home Sweet Home In-Home Care
If you find that you miss providing care for others, we would love to speak with you about an opportunity to use your compassion and skills to brighten life for another person in need of assistance. Your experience as a family caregiver makes you a terrific fit for a professional caregiving role, and we will equip you with full training and all the support you will need to make a difference in someone else’s life.