You have been spending a lot of time caring for your loved one. Besides caregiving, you have a regular job and run errands every day. There is less time for hobbies and socializing with other people.
Loneliness is a common issue among caregivers. Accumulated anxiety and stress make the situation even worse.
Lack of understanding from your family and friends doesn’t help. You are all alone and don’t have anyone to talk to. It seems that vicious cycle doesn’t have an end.
Fighting loneliness may be a tough thing to do, and letting yourself give into desperation sometimes seems like an easier choice.
Follow these tips to get back on your feet. Don’t forget you are not alone in the world.
- Connect with other people
- Share your feelings
- Accept praise
- Join a caregiver support group
Connect with Other People
Human beings are sociable creatures. We can’t live entirely alone, without friends and others who are important to us.
Being a caregiver means a lack of free time. However, it is essential for your mental health to make an effort and meet up with your friends and family once in a while.
Don’t lose relationships with people you care about. It would be far more difficult to make new honest friendships.
Having a conversation with someone will keep you away from social isolation, help to create a positive attitude, and reduce the stress you’ve accumulated.
Chatting online with someone is great, but it is much better to meet people in person.
Share Your Feelings
Talking to someone will help keep your mind away from caregiving. It will also help to lower the stress level.
However, maintaining deeper relationships with people is the key to fighting against caregiver loneliness.
People you can trust and share your feelings with are true friends. They listen to you when you need to get the burden off your chest and receive words of comfort.
You will feel much more relaxed after a deep conversation and have more energy for future tasks.
Caregivers tend to refuse words of appreciation. For example, when a sibling says, “Thank you so much for taking care of our mom. I understand how much time you dedicate to her,” people tend to wave it off and say, “It’s not a big deal, don’t mention it.”
Perhaps such caregivers feel they don’t deserve praise and believe they should do much more.
Whatever the reason is, always accept praise. It will help you to continue assisting your loved one and is one more way to connect with others.
Join a Caregiver Support Group
Caregiver groups are beneficial for numerous reasons. Not only will you be among people who share similar stories, but you will learn a lot about caregiving that you didn’t know before.
People share their experiences at these meetings, and you can ask all kinds of questions to others. On the other hand, you can also contribute to the meetings by sharing your story. Despite your possible insecurity, know that you have a lot to offer.
Being surrounded by people with similar issues will help you reduce the feeling of loneliness. You are not the only one in the world who takes care of their parent. People are often surprised when they see how many people are family caregivers.
Feeling lonely as a caregiver is common, but it is not a healthy state. Follow these tips to overcome it and get back on track.
Read more on coping with caregiver loneliness.
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