Who would imagine that spending a great deal of time caring for someone else could also cause you to feel incredibly alone? The hard truth of the matter is that caregiving can be exceedingly isolating, for a number of reasons:
• Mental or physical exhaustion: you’re simply too drained to want to socialize
• Guilt over enjoying time away from the person in your care
• Resentment toward those whose lives seem so much easier
• And much more
No matter what the cause of the isolation you might be feeling as a caregiver, it’s crucial to take measures to overcome it. Social isolation can result in serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and problems with attention and memory, just to name a few.
Our home care experts recommend starting today with implementing one or more of the following strategies for overcoming caregiver isolation:
- Start each day with an optimistic mindset. It may take some effort to start with if you’ve been feeling down for some time. A terrific way to begin is with 15 minutes of energy-boosting activity. Make it something pleasant, instead of an additional chore to add to your routine, such as jumping on a little trampoline or following along with an upbeat exercise video.
- Tell family and friends how you feel. People may assume you are too busy in your caregiving role to want to spend time with them. Let them know you’re feeling lonely and isolated and would enjoy some company.
- Start conversations with strangers. It is amazing how such a simple thing as chatting with someone in the grocery store checkout line can raise your spirits. Offer a compliment, such as how pretty the person’s jacket is, or commiserate on the need to unload your purchases in the cold weather.
- Watch the way you speak to yourself. Your internal dialogue plays a tremendous role in your mood. Pay attention to your thoughts. If they’re constantly negative or full of worries and anxiety, try purposely shifting your mindset. Find three positive things to be thankful for, and concentrate on those. As soon as the negativity creeps back in, think of three more. It may take some effort in the beginning but will soon become second nature.
- Find a caregiver support group. You might be surprised to find 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 are able to understand and empathize with the journey you’re on.
Of course, incorporating more socialization into your life as a caregiver is not effortless. It entails finding a trusted source for relief from your caregiving tasks to enable you to step away and take care of your own personal needs. Fortunately, JFS Care, provider of elderly home care services in Los Angeles and the nearby area, offers the perfect solution. Connect with us at 213-383-2273, and together we will formulate a plan to guarantee the best care for the older adult you love and a healthier life balance for you also. Visit our full service area page.