Who could imagine that spending so much time taking care of another person could also cause you to feel incredibly alone? The hard facts are that caregiver loneliness is extremely common, for several reasons:
• Mental or physical exhaustion: you’re simply too depleted to want to socialize
• Guilt over enjoying time away from the person in your care
• Bitterness toward those whose lives seem so much simpler
• And more
Whatever the cause of the isolation you may be feeling as a caregiver, it’s essential to take measures to conquer it. Social isolation can bring about serious health issues, including heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and problems with memory and attention, just to name a few.
Our home care professionals recommend starting today with implementing one or more of the following 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. An excellent way to begin is with fifteen minutes of energy-boosting activity. Make it something rewarding, rather than an additional chore to add to your routine, like 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 together. Let them know you are feeling isolated and lonely and would enjoy some companionship.
- Start conversations with strangers. It’s amazing how such a simple thing as talking with someone while in the grocery store checkout line can raise your spirits. Offer a compliment, such as how nice 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. Make note of your thoughts. If they’re consistently negative or filled 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, think about three more. It might take some effort at first, but will soon become second nature.
- Find a caregiver support group. You may be surprised to learn 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, incorporating more socialization into your life as a caregiver is not effortless. It requires finding a trusted source for respite from your caregiving tasks to enable you to step away and take care of your own needs. Fortunately, Serenity Home Care, the leading provider of elderly care in Esquimalt and nearby areas, has the ideal solution. Contact us online or call 250.590.8058 and together we can formulate a plan to guarantee the best care for an older adult you love, and a healthier life balance for you, too.