Often caregivers find themselves in a situation in which they feel all alone and as if what they do doesn’t really matter. What you do definitely matters and it might be up to you to turn the tide on your own encouragement so that you feel those benefits.
Remember Why You’re a Caregiver.
Everyone has a different reason for being a caregiver, of course. The most common reason is that your aging family member needs care and you’re able and willing to provide that care. But some caregivers don’t feel as if they have a choice in the matter. This can lead to resentment and to other negative feelings. Try to remember why you’re choosing to be a caregiver because even if you didn’t have a choice at first, you have the choice to continue on.
Focus on What You Can Change.
You might want to change your senior’s health for the better, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to do so. If you’re focusing primarily on things that you can’t change, you’re going to find yourself more discouraged than ever. Do what you can to focus on the things that you can control, such as your own attitude or how you react to the problems that crop up on your caregiving journey.
The fact of the matter is that you’re often going to have to be your own biggest source of encouragement. Start keeping an accomplishments journal or page in a notebook. At first you might write down things such as successfully negotiating with the insurance company, but the magic of this is that you’ll start to see so many more reasons to give yourself a pat on the back. And even if no one else is encouraging you, you are. You can always go back to this list when you need a lift.
Take Time to Do Things that Bring You Joy.
When everything in your life is about other people, you’re not going to feel so fantastic as a rule. Take the time to do things that bring you joy and happiness. As you allow yourself to have some fun of your own, you’re going to feel lighter overall and there’s going to be less that weighs you down.
Finding your own sense of power in being a caregiver is important. No one else can empower you, so you’ll have to do that for yourself. It’s a big step to take if you haven’t done that for yourself before but it can make a world of difference in your caregiving experience.