Self-doubt can make you feel isolated, depressed and anxious. Instead, look for ways to build your self-esteem. If you feel good about yourself, you will radiate a positive outlook and pass this on to your patient. After all, you are a loving, capable caregiver and you can feel good about how you are helping your loved one.
Maybe it’s time to surround yourself with people who will support and compliment you. Your friends probably admire you, believing that you are a wonderful person to take on your patient’s care. Most people couldn’t handle this tough job. Don’t stay away from your friends, you need them now more than ever. How long has it been since you took a friend to lunch? Too long, I bet! Take some time off and treat yourself and a friend, even if it’s just for a cup of coffee.
Don’t be afraid to recognize your own accomplishments. It isn’t selfish...after all you are doing a good job and you probably won’t get much positive feedback from your patient. Give yourself a pat on the back for all the good you do. When someone compliments you on a job well done, accept their praise with a smile.
Many of us are overwhelmed by the responsibility of care for another person. We expect too much from ourselves. No one is perfect, so don’t try to be. You are not responsible for the happiness of your parent, or whoever you are caring for. No matter how great your efforts, chances are they aren’t going to be completely happy. You may try to spend more time with them, or take them places, thinking this will make them happy, but it sin’t always true. When a person gives up their home and everything they own except a few personal items, they are most likely going to miss those things. No amount of caregiving will make up for the losses this person has experienced.
Do the best you can and don’t worry if you feel tired, frustrated or angry once in a while. At times you may lose your temper, but so will the person you are looking after. We are all human.