Who would imagine that spending a great deal of time being a caregiver for another person could also make you feel incredibly alone? The hard fact is that caregiving can be extremely isolating, for a number of reasons:
- Mental or physical exhaustion: you’re simply too depleted to want to socialize
- Guilt over enjoying time away from the loved one in your care
- Resentment toward those whose lives seem so much easier
- And more
Whatever the source of the isolation you might be feeling as a caregiver, it’s essential to make a plan to overcome it. Family caregiver isolation can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and difficulties with memory and attention, just to name a few.
Our home care experts recommend starting today with implementing one or more of these tips:
- Start your day with a positive mindset. It might take some effort to start with if you have been feeling down for some time. A terrific way to begin is with 15 minutes of energy-boosting activity. Make it something pleasant, instead of one more chore to add to your routine, such as by jumping on a small trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
- Tell family and friends how you feel. People may assume you’re too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time with them. Let them know you’re feeling lonely and isolated and would appreciate some companionship.
- Strike up conversations with strangers. It’s amazing how such a simple thing as talking with someone while in the grocery store checkout line can lift your spirits. Offer a compliment, such as how pretty the person’s jacket is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the drenching rain.
- Watch how you speak to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a huge role on your mood. Observe your thoughts. If they’re consistently negative or full of anxiety and worry, try intentionally shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for and focus on those. When the negativity creeps back in, think about three more. It may take some effort at first, but will quickly become second nature.
- Find a caregiver support group. You may be surprised to discover how many people feel exactly like you do. In supporting and encouraging each other, you’ll have the opportunity to make some new friends who are able to empathize and understand the journey you’re on.
Of course, introducing more socialization into your life as a caregiver isn’t easy. It entails finding a reliable source for respite from your caregiving tasks so that you can step away and take care of your own needs. Thankfully, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care’s experts in home care in Mattawan and the surrounding areas offer the perfect solution. Reach out to us at (866) 229-2505, and together we can devise a plan to guarantee the best care for the older adult you adore, and a healthier life balance for you as well. For a full list of all the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page.