Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~ Managing Emotions as a Family Caregiver
As a family caregiver, you may often feel like you should not worry about your own feelings because of everything you have going on in your life. On top of caregiving, you may be balancing a full- or part-time job, taking care of a family, and managing a house. But you should not think as if your feelings do not deserve time, because your emotions matter, too. Acknowledging your feelings is healthy and, in fact, crucial to maintaining your mental health. In this blog, we are going to identify some ways to help you manage your emotions in healthy and productive ways.
Identify, Acknowledge, and Address
- The first step to managing your feelings is to identify Take a moment to ask yourself, “How exactly am I feeling right now?” Trying putting a name or description to your current emotion. Is it anger? Sadness? Confusion? Once you identify your feelings, remind yourself that you should not feel guilty or wrong for feeling the way you do. You are entitled to your emotions, and the last thing you need is to add another level of stress to your already stressful role as a caregiver.
- Once you identify your emotions, the next step is to acknowledge This means to admit that you are experiencing them and being at peace with the fact that this is what you are going through. Acknowledging your emotion is also a good way to practice mindfulness, which is a therapeutic mental health technique to avoid obsessing about past events and worrying about the future. Focusing on your present emotions is a good way to not get wrapped up in anxieties and worries beyond your control. After all, the only time you can make beneficial changes in your life is in the present.
- After you have recognized and accepted your emotions, the last thing is to address them if they are causing unnecessary stress in your life. You can either do this by sitting down and coming up with healthy solutions yourself or by talking with a counselor. Healthy solutions can involve managing your own behaviors to help cope with stress, seeking out resources for additional support, or recruiting friends and family for help.
It is important to remember that you should not feel guilty for feeling certain emotions. If your feelings are currently having a negative impact in your life, then you must address them so you can make positive changes. Caregiving is not easy, and, chances are, you will go through some difficult times every now and then. It is therefore worth your time to seek out help so you can think of healthy ways to cope with these complex feelings, which can often turn into depression, anxiety, or anger if not addressed—none of these states are healthy for your mind and body. We recommend reaching out to friends and family to talk, or you can find a caregiver support groups in your local area. If you have any questions, then please contact ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website to learn about resources we can provide.