One of the downsides of caregiving for some people is that there are a lot of emotions that get dredged up. Some of those emotions aren’t necessarily the ones that make you feel all giddy and happy, either. You might even wish you could turn your emotions off for a while.
Don’t Ignore What You’re Feeling
The worst thing that you can do with anything you’re feeling is to ignore it or to pretend that it will go away on its own. Feelings don’t work that way. They’re there, whether you’re ready to face them or not, and they’re not going to just disappear. When you try to ignore them or force them to take a back seat, they’re going to pop up again when you least expect them.
Stop Calling Your Feelings “Bad” or “Wrong”
Feelings in and of themselves aren’t “bad,” “wrong,” or even really “negative.” How you respond to those feelings could be bad or negative, but the feelings themselves aren’t really bad or good. Certain emotions might make you feel guilty, though. For instance, if you’re angry or resentful that you can’t do something because you’re too busy being a caregiver, you might feel as if you shouldn’t feel that way. The feeling is an indication that there’s more going on.
Find a Way to Express What You’re Feeling
Feelings need an outlet, even the feelings that you don’t particularly like. You might cry, scream, or vent to a friend about how you’re feeling. These are all ways that you can use to work through those emotions in a healthy way. When you stop ignoring your feelings and start expressing them, you’re going to find your reactions change, too.
Develop Long-range Plans for Managing Your Feelings
This is something you’re going to face over and over again, so you need a long-range plan for dealing with your emotions. Joining a caregiver support group is one excellent way to cope. You might also find that keeping a journal helps you to spot patterns and contributing factors to how you’re feeling. Stick with something that is comfortable for you and that allows you to deal with your feelings in a healthy way.
The very fact that you are a caregiver means that your heart is in the right place. A few “negative” emotions here and there don’t undo all of that. You’re human and that comes with a wide range of feelings that don’t always seem like they’re appropriate. How you manage them is what’s really important.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Cambridge MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.
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