It’s one thing to want to project strength and competence, but it’s another entirely to hide behind the appearance of being strong. As a caregiver, you have to get honest about a lot of things, including the help that you need. Paying attention to your feelings and accepting help in a variety of forms can help with all of that.
You Might Be Avoiding Your Feelings
Avoiding your feelings is a surefire way to see them come back bigger and badder than ever. That’s a problem as a caregiver because you don’t have time to deal with unresolved feelings on top of everything else. You need to be able to acknowledge what you’re feeling and work through it in the moment. Having someone to talk to helps, as does writing regularly in a journal.
You Run the Risk of Isolating Yourself
Strength is not a bad thing at all and neither is wanting to appear strong in the face of big challenges. But when you’re focused on putting up a strong front, you’re running the risk of keeping yourself locked away when people could be helping you. Often it’s the belief that no one can help that starts all of this, which might be why you should consider working with elder care providers. They can offer you real, hands-on help that makes a big difference.
You Need to Practice Reaching Out
Whether you’re reaching out to family members more often or to elder care providers, you need to be making that effort. You can still be strong and supportive while receiving help yourself. There’s nothing wrong with having a support team of your own who are there for you when you need someone to lean on.
How You Feel Gives You Some Important Information
It’s important through it all to stay in touch with your feelings. They can give you valuable information that you might be consciously missing out on. So-called negative emotions, like frustration and anger, can help you to see when there are situations that aren’t working well for everyone involved. They can prompt you to find a better way to do things.
Your senior needs your help right now, but she needs for you to be a whole person rather than an idealized version of yourself. Humans have flaws and needs, even if they’re caregivers. Let other people help you and avoid putting up those walls that push people away.