Embrace your feelings as a Caregiver
Caregiving can be a very emotionally draining task, one that can’t be achieved by many, but it is ultimately one of the most beautiful and noble ones. Being a caregiver demands love, compassion, patience and perseverance twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As a normal human being, during day-to-day life, and different hectic situations that caregiving can give you moments of great emotional stress. You might experience a whole deal of a great variety of emotions that could eventually take a toll on you.
Caregiving will put you face to face to very intense emotional states and difficult situations that might cause you to encounter feelings that you might even be embarrassed to experience. The very first thing you need to realize is that no matter the circumstances, you need to accept your feelings. Do not chastise yourself over for feeling anger, guilt, fear, or even helplessness, these are all perfectly normal emotions that you as a living breathing human being can experience while taking care of others. It is very important to understand something very crucial: these feelings do not make you a bad person. These feelings can be more complicated if you are taking care of a family member, by no means to they mean that you do not love them.
If you are new to caregiving it is absolutely normal to feel anxiety or worry, especially on how you are going to deal with the responsibilities it comes with the task. The anxiety is actually fear for the sake of your loved one and their wellbeing and the possible outcome of their condition. One way to deal with such emotions is to channel them into positive energy, driving you to fulfill your duties as a caregiver to the best of your abilities.
In some cases, the amount of stress that you might feel could lead you to feel anger or even resentment towards the person you are caring for. These feelings are natural and tend to be very present, even though you acknowledge to yourself that they are irrational. Resentment might manifest itself towards others that do not have your role as caregivers. These feelings are there as a natural response from all the overwhelming responsibilities that caregiving can represent.
Other emotions that are very common are grief and guilt. You grief for the person you are caring for, this sensation is heightened if you are caring for someone very near and dear to you. Guilt is a very difficult and complicated feeling that many caregivers experience. Guilt normally comes right behind any of the listed feelings here. That is why it is important to realize that experiencing said feelings are only a testament on you own humanity.
Embracing these feelings and trying to understand them are no easy task, and you may not be able to embrace them by yourself. Which is why it is highly advisable that if you are becoming a caregiver that you have a clear head and a emotional and spiritual foundation. Seek to your closest friends, people who will listen and will not judge you. If you are a religious person you can seek support from your local church, temple or your favorite place of worship, spiritual leaders can provide you with the emotional guidance that you seek. Check for local caregiver support groups or organizations on ways you can find some emotional assistance. Remember that in your position, you are entitled for time to relax and rest, and other benefits. Caregiving can be exhausting both physically and mentally, and you deserve to rest and charge yourself with energy to keep fulfilling your duties with love, temperament and dedication.