Some caregivers feel that they owe it to their family to take care of them, no matter what. Caregivers often feel like they can never do enough or that they’re never doing things well enough. Feeling guilty because you wish you could do more is common and normal, but it can easily take over your life. Here are some tips on how to cope.
Write it out
Put your guilt, resentment, and anger on paper and get it out of your head. Many people feel better tearing it up and getting rid of it when they’re done. Your feelings are valid. Where are they coming from? Unravel them to find the source.
Listen to yourself
Are you constantly thinking how you should have, ought to, could have? Stop and think – if you didn’t do something, why didn’t you do it? Perhaps you weren’t capable of doing it, perhaps you could have only known in hindsight, perhaps you made a simple mistake. You don’t have to be more of a superhero then you already are.
You can’t control everything
Our resources – financial, mental, physical – are limited. You can’t control your loved one’s health or your family’s behavior. Learning to accept these limits is a big step toward finding peace.
You can’t make everyone happy
It’s so much easier to criticize than to do. Do what you know is right, not what other people demand of you. There is no right way to be a caregiver – do what you can.
You deserve joy
It can be tough to enjoy yourself when you know your loved one is unable to enjoy themselves with you. We each have different gifts and abilities – use yours.