It is normal for caregivers to carry around with them a certain degree of caregiver guilt. This is due to the fact that they believe that they may not be doing enough for their loved ones. This guilt can inflict stress that may affect the quality of care. If you have been trying to deal with guilt as a caregiver, here are some ways that can help you cope with it better.
Why or When Does a Caregiver Feel Guilty?
There are many factors that can cause a caregiver to feel guilty even when they are already doing such a courageous job. Below are some instances that can cause a caregiver to be carrying around guilt while providing care.
It is normal for caregivers to feel like they are missing out on something when so much of their daily time is taken up providing care to someone else. Caregivers often feel guilty but they should not be feeling this way.
For caregivers who may still have unresolved issues with their family members whom they are caring for, they may have unhealthy feelings like antipathy or anger when carrying out their duty. Many caregivers feel guilty for having such emotions.
Comparing to Others
Some caregivers tend to compare themselves with other caregivers and feel that they have not done enough in providing care.
A caregiver would often feel extremely guilty when they have to place their loved ones in an assisted living or nursing home for alternative care.
Dealing with Personal Issues
Some caregivers may already have so many personal issues on their plate. This may cause them to feel guilty about not being able to give 100% care to their loved ones.
How to Cope with Caregiver Guilt
There are many ways that can help caregivers better cope with caregiver guilt to prevent them from experiencing stress and eventually affecting their mental health. The following are some ways to better cope with caregiver guilt.
Acknowledging the Guilt
It is normal to feel guilty from time to time. Recognize the guilt so as to be able to better deal with it.
Looking at the Bigger Picture
Some caregivers may not feel guilty at the very instant but feelings can change over time. Reflect on the sacrifices that you have made for your loved ones and realize the hard work you have put in all this while to give yourself recognition.
Accept That Every Human Makes Mistakes
All of us make mistakes from time to time. There are some who may be better at the physical aspects of caregiving whereas others are much more efficient in the emotional aspects of it. Recognize your strengths and realize what you are truly capable of.
It is important to make time for yourself even if it is just an hour or two a day. Taking time away from caregiving can help you to rejuvenate your mind and body to prevent mounting amounts of stress from affecting your well-being.
For caregivers who may be taking care of their loved ones whom they resent as a result of unresolved past disputes, learn to accept them for who they are. Be the bigger person and forgive them even if they have yet to apologize.