Surprisingly, caring for someone and spending so much time with them to make sure they’re well can actually be incredibly isolating. Yet feeling isolation as a caregiver is actually quite common, for a number of reasons:
- Guilt over enjoying time away from the loved one in your care
- Mental or physical exhaustion: you’re simply too depleted to want to socialize
- Bitterness toward those whose lives seem so much simpler
- And more
No matter the reason for feeling isolated as a caregiver, it’s important to take the necessary steps to overcome it. Social isolation can result in serious health problems, such as heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and difficulties with attention and memory, just to name a few.
Our home care professionals recommend starting today with implementing one or more of these ideas:
- Start each day with an optimistic mindset. It might take some effort in the beginning if you have been feeling down for some time. A great way to begin is with 15 minutes of energy-boosting activity. Make it something rewarding, instead of an additional chore to add to your routine, such as by jumping on a small trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
- Watch how you talk to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a tremendous role in your mood. Pay attention to your thoughts. If they are consistently negative or loaded with anxiety and worry, try deliberately shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for and concentrate on those. When the negativity creeps back in, come up with three more. It may take some effort at first, but will soon become second nature.
- Initiate conversations with strangers. It is amazing how such a simple thing as chatting with someone in the grocery store checkout line can raise your spirits. Offer a compliment, for example, on how pretty the person’s shirt is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the rainy weather.
- Tell friends and family how you feel. People may assume you’re too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time with them. Let them know you are feeling isolated and lonely and would appreciate some company.
- Find a caregiver support group. You may be surprised to realize how many people feel exactly like you do. In supporting and encouraging each other, you’ll have the opportunity to make some new friends who are able to empathize with the journey you’re on.
Of course, socializing more as a caregiver is not always the easiest change to make. It requires finding a dependable source for relief from your caregiving tasks to enable you to step away and care for your own needs. Fortunately, Help at Home Senior Care offers the ideal solution. Reach out to us online or at (530) 885-7444 and together, with our respite care in Lincoln, CA and the nearby areas, we can construct a plan to ensure the best care for the older adult you love, and a healthier life balance for you also.