Who would imagine that spending a great deal of time taking care of another person could also make you feel incredibly alone? The hard facts are that caregiving can be incredibly isolating for a number of reasons:
- Mental or physical exhaustion: you’re simply too depleted to want to socialize
- Guilt over enjoying time apart from the individual in your care
- Bitterness toward those whose lives seem so much simpler
- And much more
No matter what the source of caregiver isolation, it is imperative to take steps to conquer it. Social isolation can lead to serious health problems, including heart problems, depression, stroke, high blood pressure, and difficulties with attention and memory, just to name a few.
Our home care experts recommend starting today with implementing one or more of the following suggestions to help with caregiver isolation:
- Start the day with a positive mindset. It may take some effort at first if you’ve been feeling down for some time. A great way to begin is with 15 minutes of energy-boosting activity. Make it something pleasant, rather than one more chore to add to your routine. For example, try jumping on a little trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
- Tell family and friends how you feel. People may assume you’re too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time together. Let them know you are feeling isolated and lonely and would welcome some companionship.
- Start conversations with strangers. It’s amazing how such a simple thing as chatting with someone while in the grocery store checkout line can lift your spirits. Offer a compliment, for example, how pretty the person’s shirt is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the drenching rain.
- Watch the way you talk to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a huge role on your mood. Observe your thoughts. If they’re constantly negative or full of worries and anxiety, try intentionally shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for and concentrate on those. As soon as the negativity creeps back in, think about three more. It may take some effort at first, but will soon become second nature.
- Find a caregiver support group. You may be surprised to discover how many people feel exactly like you do. In encouraging and supporting each other, you will have the opportunity to make some new friends who are able to empathize with you and understand the journey you’re on.
Needless to say, incorporating more socialization into your life as a caregiver is not effortless. It entails finding a dependable source for relief from your caregiving tasks to enable you to step away and care for your own personal needs. Fortunately, CareWorks Health Services offers trusted home care services in Huntington Beach and nearby areas. Reach out to us at (949) 859-4700, and together we will devise a plan to guarantee the best care for the older adult you love and a healthier life balance for you also.