Who could imagine that spending a great deal of time being a caregiver for someone else could also cause you to feel incredibly alone? The hard truth is that caregiving can be extremely isolating, for several reasons:
- Mental or physical exhaustion: you are simply too depleted to want to socialize
- Guilt over enjoying time away 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 and loneliness, it is crucial to take measures to overcome it. Social isolation can result in serious health concerns, including heart problems, depression, stroke, high blood pressure, and problems with attention and memory, just to name a few.
Our home care specialists recommend starting today with implementing one or more of these suggestions:
- Start the day with a positive mindset. It may take some effort at first if you have been feeling down for some time. A terrific way to begin is with fifteen minutes of an energy-boosting activity. Make it something enjoyable, instead of one more chore to add to your routine, such as by jumping on a little trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
- Tell friends and family how you feel. People may assume you are too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time together. Let them know you are feeling lonely and isolated and would enjoy some company.
- Strike up conversations with strangers. It is amazing how something as simple as chatting with someone while in the grocery store checkout line can lift your spirits. Offer a compliment, such as how pretty the person’s jacket is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the cold weather.
- Watch the way you talk to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a huge role in your mood. Observe your thoughts. If they are constantly negative or full of anxiety and worry, try purposely shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for, and focus on those. As soon as the negativity creeps back in, think of three more. It may take some effort in the beginning but will soon become second nature.
- Find a caregiver support group. You may be surprised to find how many people feel just like you do. In supporting and encouraging each other, you will have the opportunity to make some new friends who are able to understand and empathize with the journey you’re on.
Of course, incorporating more socialization into your life as a caregiver isn’t effortless. It entails finding a trusted source for respite from your caregiving tasks so that you can step away and take care of your own personal needs. Thankfully, Seniorcorp offers the perfect solution with award-winning in-home senior services in Portsmouth, VA and nearby areas. Contact us at 757-640-0557 and together we can develop a plan to guarantee the best care for the senior you love, and a healthier life balance for you also.