How to Avoid Resentment as a Caregiver
Caring for a loved one with a disability or other illness can trigger a mixture of emotions. One day, you could feel a connection with your loved one and a sense of fulfillment in helping them. The next day you could feel resentful for having to give up time out of your own life to focus on theirs. Don’t blame yourself for these feelings, as most caregivers will go through this range of emotions from time to time. Although there’s no set formula for avoiding negative emotions, it’s helpful to be able to recognize when you start to feel them avoid saying or doing something hurtful.
When you feel resentment about caring for a loved one, you feel irritated and may even think the situation is unfair to you. You might even feel like you’re obligated to care for your loved one and wonder why this burden has been placed squarely on your shoulders. The resentment you feel maybe towards your loved one, or aimed at friends and family members who you feel like are not doing their part to help. These emotions are natural, especially if you’re the only caregiver. However, you can keep these feelings to a minimum with these four tips.
1. Take Regular Breaks
It’s impossible to care for anyone all day, every day without any breaks. Even professional caregivers and nurses need breaks, and you need rest too so that your mind and body can recharge. You don’t have to set aside several hours every day. Taking a few breaks each day for 10 minutes each can make a world of difference.
If you feel like you need a longer break, consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver to provide respite for you and care for your loved one. Professional caregivers can provide assistance for as little as one hour or as much (and as often) as you need.
2. Practice Self-Care
There might be times when you get caught up in your loved one’s needs and forget your own, such as eating healthy and drinking water. When that happens, your body naturally becomes stressed and exhausted. Taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining your emotions and overall well-being. After all, you can’t take care of your loved one if you’re sick.
3. Get Emotional Support
Even when you do all the right things, you could still develop feelings of resentment. Many other family caregivers go through the same thing. Consider joining an in-person or online caregiver support group or forum to help work out your emotions. Also, you could write in a journal, talk to a trusted friend or seek counseling.
4. Ask for Help
If you’re caring for a loved one, in the long run, it’s important to ask for help. Family members and close friends are a great place to start. In fact, some of them might want to help but don’t know what to do. Be open with them, and ask for their assistance for specific things, such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, or simply sitting with your loved one talking and playing cards.
When you need an extended break or ongoing support, Caring Home Care can connect you and your loved one with a professional in-home caregiver. Our certified caregivers provide respite for you and in-home caregiving services for your loved one. We’re here to help with vital sign monitoring as well as assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, grooming, meal preparation, prescription reminders and more.