Many caregivers are stressed and even feel guilty with all the responsibilities that they have. They can be stressed trying to do everything without help or feel guilty for not having a solution for every problem. All these self-inflicted expectations can lead them to feel criticized and frustrated with their personal and professional lives.
In relation with this, Dr.Barry J. Jacobs an AARP caregiving expert, shares 5 useful tips to reduce the guilt that caregiving often causes.
1. Don’t aim for guilt-free caregiving
In this type of job some guilt will always be present, but there is a difference between what caregivers are really able to do and what they think they have to do. This situation can be confusing, stressful and frustrating, but the solution is to accept that you can not do everything yourself. Look for and accept any help when needed.
2. Give up the fantasy of rescuing others
Be realistic with your job. Sometimes it’s difficult to accept that no matter how hard you work, your loved one will not make a miraculous recovery. As caregivers, you need to be very clear about your goals and understand that with an older adult health situation or other complex care, there are limits to what you can do.
3. Maintain balance
Nobody said that work as a caregiver is easy; as a result, it is essential to find ways to maintain balance for you. Everyone has a social life and other responsibilities after work. Take a moment to do something that lets you find peace and happiness; it's vital for any human being to have time for themselves. Never underestimate the risk of caregiver burnout!
4. Tolerate ambivalence
The truth is that negative feelings are a natural part of human nature so do not take this personally. After all being a caregiver can involve many emotions and moments that you can feel anger, exhausted or irritation and this is totally normal.
Remember that you also are human and criticizing yourself for these kinds of negative thoughts is unjustified.
5. Find other motivations
In several situations, some caregivers forget to think about all the wonderful things that they have done for all their patients, and as a result, feel guilty and stressed. What helps to reduce these two types of negative emotions is to always remember all the amazing work that you have done and stay positive with your feelings.
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