“WHAT GOOD WILL I BE TO MOM IF I BECOME ILL?”
On a sinking boat, a lifejacket descends in front of you. What is your initial response? Of course, you have to wear your own lifejacket before helping others. Helping ourselves isn’t selfish; it’s a way of becoming an effective medium of help to others. Caring for ourselves is one of the most important – and often the most overlooked – things as a caregiver. When our needs are prioritized, yourself AND your care recipient will be thanking you.
CAREGIVING CAN BE A VICIOUS CYCLE OF STRESS
Your loved one has a disease, but you’re the one admitted in the hospital. This is a common situation to caregivers at home. Being faced with the intricacies of caregiving – prolonged stress, higher caregiving demands, loss, aging, and biological limitations – each caregiver is at risk for significant health concerns. What about those caregivers who are juggling between being a wife to her husband, a mother to a child, and an employee to a firm? As you try to meet an aging parent’s needs, you’re increasing your risks for illnesses, depression and low quality of life.
With caregiving, you’re set to experience an emotional rollercoaster that’ll keep you off balanced. One day, you think of caregiving as a rewarding personal experience. The next thing you know, all of these continuous stress and exhaustion make you want to run from the responsibilities.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
As caregivers, it’s important to remember that you’re not there to cure them from a chronic illness or a debilitating injury. However, you do have the ability of healing yourself and preventing risks from illnesses. Take responsibility for your own care today. Affinity Caretaker, Inc., a Non-Medical Home Care in Seven Mile Road Livonia MI, shares how self-care barriers stop you from achieving wellness.
Ask yourself, “What good will I be to Mom if I become ill?” Neglecting our personal needs while caring for others can become a lifelong pattern. Breaking old patterns may not be easy, but it’s doable. Your attitudes and perceptions can become personal self-care barriers too. Let’s take a look at the following examples in identifying your self-care barriers:
- Is putting your needs first makes you feel selfish?
- Do you fear about thinking of your own needs? If so, why?
- Are you uncomfortable telling others of your needs?
- Do you do too much caring to get your care recipient’s affection?
Here are some misconceptions most caregivers have, disabling them from achieving self-care:
- My parent’s health and wellbeing is my responsibility.
- No one is as efficient as me in caring for my parents.
- I can get the love and attention I deserve if I’ll take care of them.
- I can handle their needs.
- I promised my parents I’ll take care of them.
Negative self-talks like, “I can’t go out with friends anymore” are other barriers causing increased anxieties. Reversely, tell yourself some positive things like, “I can find time to socialize.” Don’t forget that your mind believes what you tell it.
What’s your own self-care barrier?
Identify what keeps you away from taking care of yourself. Once you have recognized your barriers, you can now move forward to changing your behaviors toward self-care. How do you take care of yourself while caring for others? Tell us your stories.