Caregiving has a much bigger impact on you than you might believe, especially if you’ve been operating on autopilot for a while now. Here are some of the ways you can start to see the effect being a caregiver is having.
You Feel Guilty Doing Anything Just for Yourself
If you’ve put off doing anything for yourself because caregiving takes first place, always, you may experience guilt during those rare times when you have to handle your stuff first. Life has a funny way of reminding you that you have to take care of certain situations and ignoring them just won’t work, even if you feel guilty about it.
You Don’t Have a Life Beyond Caregiving
Many caregivers find themselves without hobbies, friends, or outside interests that have nothing to do with caregiving. This can happen because caregiving can be so all encompassing, but you still have to have other interests. Explore hobbies that you used to enjoy and find ways to develop your own life again.
Your Emotions Are Constantly on the Edge
When you’re neglecting yourself and you’re putting yourself on hold, that can’t last too long. Even if you think that you’re okay with that decision, your subconscious may have another message for you. This often results in frayed emotions that leave you always feeling on the edge of crying, screaming, or some other emotional outburst.
Your Health Is Suffering
It’s no secret that your emotional and mental health can have a tremendous impact on your physical health. You may find that you’re feeling more run down than usual these days and you’re catching every bug that crosses your path. In order to take care of your senior and her health issues, you need to be as healthy as you can be.
It Feels as if Everyone Is Against You
Being a caregiver means that you’re the one usually handling the tough decisions and that may not always go over well with everyone around you. You may feel as if everyone, including your aging adult, is against you sometimes. That’s not a fun way to go through life.
The first step is to acknowledge where you are. From there, you can get help from elderly care providers, other family members, and friends to start meeting some of your needs, too.