Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today I am talking about how you can better cope with some of the more difficult emotions that you may experience as a family caregiver.
In an average day or week family caregivers can experience a wide range of emotions from love, tenderness, appreciation and satisfaction to frustration, anger and resentment. It's okay to experience any and all of these emotions. It's how you cope with these emotions that can have positive and negative effects in your life.
Dr. Amy Dupree, a care giving expert recommends the following process to help you manage the rigors and emotions of family care giving.
First, acknowledge all of your feelings. A good idea is to look at your feelings as a pie, perhaps 30% of the pie is anger and 20% is guilt, but the rest of the pie is love. Seeing it as a pie can help you realize that care giving comes with a range of emotions.
Second, release your feelings in a safe way. Journaling is one effective way that you can get your feelings out. Other options include joining a support group or talking to a therapist or a non-judgmental friend.
Third, manage the situation by getting some help. If there is a sibling who won't hold up his or her part, you need to talk about it. And if you can't find that support with family, go to a trusted friend, your faith community or considering hiring professional care giving support.
The fourth step is to find solutions. Start by making a list of the things you enjoy doing such as reading, watching a favorite television show, attending a faith service, exercising, visiting a museum, meeting friends or listening to music.
Then build in mini breaks or bite size getaways into your schedule. Even just 15 minutes is going to help. In the end, the goal is not to repress your emotions, but to express and cope with them in the most positive way possible.