Overcoming Caregiver Dread is Achievable with These Three Tips
What are your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning? Are you looking forward to what your day holds, or would you like to crawl back under the covers and stay there? If you are experiencing more dread than delight when you think through your caregiving responsibilities for the day, you are not alone. Overcoming caregiver dread is possible, it just takes a little presence of mind.
Distinctly different from anxiety, depression, and even burnout, caregiver dread is an exhausted, heavy sense of duty. It comes from feelings of over commitment together with the desire to get away from obligations. While possible to muscle through and carry out necessary tasks regardless of these feelings, there are ways to conquer them instead – and restore the joy of making life better for someone you love. Start by trying these techniques:
1. Release the guilt. Meeting the caregiving needs of a person can feel mundane, unimpactful, and just downright tough. It requires selflessness, which can feel burdening. Yet dreading the day-to-day tasks you are obligated to do in no way is a reflection of the way you feel about your loved one. Acknowledge to yourself that your role is not easy. Know that it’s perfectly alright to wish you could be doing something else.
2. Purposely seek out joy. The tiny pleasures every day holds may be dimmed because of the difficulties. Make a point each and every morning to find five small things that make you smile. Keep a diary of every day’s finds and refer back to it at the end of each week. Engage all of your senses as you look for the day’s joys: the smell of freshly baked cookies; the beauty of the sunrise; the sound of your cat purring; the invigorating feeling of a hot shower.
3. Set boundaries. Designate time each day to spend on things that you enjoy independent of the senior loved one in your care. Plan and look forward to this time when your caregiving tasks begin to weigh you down. A reliable care partner is key to ensure that nothing interferes with the important time of taking care of yourself.
Remind yourself that the work you’re doing in being a caregiver for your loved one is very important. Yet also remember that no one can do it all, and in order to provide the best care for your loved one as well as for yourself, frequent breaks from care tasks are necessary. Overcoming caregiver dread might feel difficult, but it’s easier with help.
Call our aging care experts at (866) 940-4343 to arrange for regular respite care services and release the stress of caregiving dread. We are here for as much or as little assistance as you need to help you enjoy quality time together with an aging loved one and also to rediscover joy in your own life as well. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation and learn why we’re the leading at-home caregivers in Novato and the surrounding communities.