August 16, 2022
Who would 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 of the matter is that caregiving can be extremely isolating, for several reasons:
• Physical or mental exhaustion: you’re simply too depleted to want to socialize
• Guilt over enjoying time away from the individual in your care
• Resentment toward those whose lives seem so much simpler
• And more
No matter what the source, it’s crucial to make a plan for overcoming isolation. Social isolation can bring about serious health concerns, such as heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and problems with attention and memory, just to name a few.
Our home care professionals recommend starting today with implementing one or more of the following ideas:
- Start your day with an optimistic mindset. It might take some effort at first 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 enjoyable, instead of one more chore to add to your routine, for example, by jumping on a little trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
- Tell family and friends 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’re feeling isolated and lonely and would appreciate some company.
- Strike up conversations with strangers. It is amazing how such a simple thing as talking with someone while in the grocery store checkout line can raise your spirits. Offer a compliment, for example, how pretty the person’s jacket is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the drenching rain.
- Watch how you talk to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays an enormous role in your mood. Observe your thoughts. If they are constantly negative or loaded with worries and anxiety, try intentionally shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for and focus on those. When the negativity creeps back in, think about three more. It may take some effort at first, but will soon become second nature.
- Find a caregiver support group. You might be surprised to discover how many people feel the same as you do. In encouraging and supporting each other, you’ll have the opportunity to make some new friends who can understand and empathize with the journey you are on.
Needless to say, introducing more socialization into your life as a caregiver is not easy. It entails finding a trusted source for respite from your caregiving tasks so that you can step away and care for your own needs. Continuum, a Chesterfield companion care provider for the surrounding areas, offers the ideal solution for overcoming isolation and getting back into a social routine. Contact us online or call (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 and together we will devise a plan to ensure the best care for the senior you love, and a healthier life balance for you also.