One of the feelings that causes caregiver stress is guilt.
Many times, the guilt goes unrecognized and accumulates into something overwhelming that drains away your energy. The feeling of guilt grows easily when you are juggling between fulfilling your work, raising your kids and caring for your parents. When you miss your child’s performance at school because you have to bring your parents to the hospital, you feel that you are not doing your job as a parent. When you are trying to relax, you feel that you should do more for your parents. Inability to balance one’s roles and expectations, is often the reason behind Caregivers’ guilt.
Some people can cope well with guilt, some do not. If you are in the latter group, learning how to face these guilt can be very beneficial in avoiding feeling overwhelmed and suffering a burnout while caring for your parents.
Talk about it
When you feel guilty, you start blaming yourself for things unrelated to the outcome. You haunt yourself with words like “I have fallen short as a parent and a child”. Slowly but surely, those words eat away your soul and break you. Talking about it openly can help. For instance, talking to your child on why you have missed his or her performance may help to lift the feeling. Sharing your journey with a network of fellow caregivers can also strengthen you.
Talk to yourself also. Search deep into the cause of the guilt and solve it. Maybe your resentment of your situation has taken a toll on you or perhaps you have set the expectations too high.
Getting Help is OK
Remember that you are not alone in your caregiving journey. It is not solely your own burden. Other family members are also concerned about your parents and about you. Make time to talk to them, ask for a listening ear. Others in your circle empathise with what you are going through. Let them pitch in to help you in small or big ways. By creating paths for them to help, it will be easier to keep you going.
Sign up for care giver training courses or join networks that can equip you with skills to care for your parents better.
Take a Break
Getting your focus away from the situation will help to reduce the pressure. Give yourself a break. Many caregivers overwork themselves and lose their cool when the pressure is too much physically and emotionally. Guilt arises easily when you are tired. Regular time off daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly will help you release the accumulated stress and strengthen your spirit. When you are away, have a family member or hire respite help to take over your duties so that you can rest well.
You Are Important Too!
As caregivers we often forget that to care for others we must first take care of our own physical and emotional well-being. Only when we accept that we are important, can we talk openly about the stress, take a break and ask for help.
At Tetsuyu Home Care, we believe that Holistic Care includes caring for both the patient and the care giver. We provide services such as caregiver training and respite care to support caregivers in their journey. Visit www.tetsuyuhomecare.com or call 6694-2677 to find out more.