When you're a busy caregiver who is overwhelmed, it's easy to talk yourself out of self-care. You might recognize some of these statements as ones you've told yourself.
"It's Selfish to Care for Myself Too Much."
As a caregiver, you know your job is to care for your aging adult. But that doesn't mean that your own needs cease to matter. It also doesn't mean that you're selfish when you need to focus on your own needs. Being a caregiver means that you're there for your elderly family member, but if you're not physically, mentally, or emotionally strong enough to be there, you can't do anything for the people that you love.
"If I Ask for Help, I'm Incompetent."
Some people don't have a great track record when it comes to getting the help that they need. When they've asked for help in the past, people might have tried to shame them or convince them that they're not capable because they need help. The truth is completely different. Asking for help is never a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. It also has no bearing on your competence levels whatsoever.
"Nobody Else Can Do This."
It's really common for a family caregiver to start to believe that they're the only one who can help their aging adult. Just because no one else is stepping up to help right now does not mean that you are the only person on whom responsibility should fall. Someone else might approach caregiving differently than you might, but that doesn't necessarily make them better at being a caregiver than you. You can take a break, allow someone else to step in for the afternoon, and the world isn't going to fall apart.
"It Doesn't Matter What I Eat or Whether I Exercise."
A big part of self-care involves keeping yourself fueled, keeping yourself rested, and getting enough exercise. This is the very basic list of what you need to do in order to keep yourself healthy as a human being, but so many caregivers feel as if none of these factors matter for themselves. If you're not caring for you, you cannot properly take care of another person. You have to be doing the basics for you, at the very least.
When you recognize that you're talking yourself out of taking care of yourself as a caregiver, you can do something about it. Stop in the moment and rephrase your thought in a way that reminds you that you matter, too, both as a person and as a caregiver.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Hoover, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...