How to Negate Every Caregiver’s Negative Thoughts
young male caregiver overwhelmed by negative thoughts and in need of coping mechanisms

They say that the closest job to being a hero is being a president. Presidents do not have time for their family, they put the country first before themselves and are always at the edge of stopping wars. However, in my point of view, caregivers are the true superheroes. Who exactly is a caregiver and what does it mean to be one that I call them superheroes?

Well, a caregiver is an individual that actively helps another person who is disabled, chronically ill, or of old age. They provide healthcare and help in certain activities that include some housework, medication, grooming, feeding, bathing, other bathroom functions, and cleaning.

See? They take care of someone and most of the time that someone is not even related to them, and that is not easy!

Caregivers are very much vulnerable to stress, anger and many other negative emotions due to the nature of their job. Aging and sick people, especially those with dementia, can be so hard to deal with when in their “tantrum” or hard-headed mode. Caregivers mostly struggle to keep their calm; however, caregivers are also people that can be won with their emotion.

During bad days─ and there will be bad days─ such dark thoughts and emotions can be depressing and stressing with a follow up of shame and guilt to a caregiver. It is quite uncommon for caregivers to think and feel something like:

  • He keeps on complaining about this! Why can’t he just shut up?
  • No one can understand what I’m going through right now!
  • I should not be doing this for her!
  • His sickness should be fatal! Why is he still alive and bothering me?
  • I should quit this job!

It’s okay for caregivers to be angry sometimes since they are also humans and especially if the one they are taking care of is rude, ungrateful, and spouts every painful word that comes to their mind.

So, as a caregiver, how should you keep your negative thoughts from getting the better of you?

ALWAYS FORGIVE YOURSELF

Stop having the unrealistic idea that you can maintain a strong, unwavering patience to your patient all the time. As a human being, you are not perfect, no one is! If ever you experience a moment of anger and dark thoughts cloud your thinking for a moment, learn to forgive yourself. Also, give yourself credit for the countless times that you choose patience and the numerous hours you spent taking care of your patient.

IMAGINE YOURSELF IN YOUR PATIENT’S SHOES

If you are starting to turn red and your fists begin to clench, imagine for a second if you were your patient. This might help you release all the negative feelings shrouding you and deal with your patient with a little more patience.

GET YOURSELF SOMETHING TO EAT

When you get to the point where you can’t take it anymore, open the fridge, look for a snack and eat while you calm yourself. Or it is much better if you get one for your patient and eat together for both of you to calm down. Also, eating every three hours can help in maintaining your blood sugar level which is responsible for stress and coping ability. So, try to eat often to improve your patience and stress coping ability.

SCREAM SOMEWHERE OR PUNCH A PILLOW

Rage and anger can turn your vision black and can make you do something you do not want. When you ever have this kind of situation, go somewhere alone and ventilate your anger through screaming or punching a pillow or a doll. This has proven to be therapeutically effective and can help you calm down.

EXERCISE

Increase the amount and time of your exercise. You can even work out while in the waiting room. Physical activity is an excellent mood booster. It helps reduce your overall stress level and keeps you calm.

TAKE SOME TIME OFF

Oftentimes, anger and impatience stem from exhaustion. Caregiving can drain all your strength physically and mentally. It can have a negative effect on your body and on your overall health. Sometimes, taking a leave or resting can help both you and your patient.

Final Thoughts:

Caregiving is never an easy job. Caregivers might be seen sometimes as the villain for getting angry at an old, sick person; whereas, they know that they did all they can to be calm. However, their ability to still care for their patients even after vowing to quite many times is highly commendable since not all people can do this.


Brian Zeng writes motivational blogs and articles that provide inspiration to anyone who reads them. He created Ponbee to be a source of self-improvement that can help bring success to its readers.

Written by Guest Author
The Caregiver Space accepts contributions from experts for The Caregiver's Toolbox and provides a platform for all caregivers in Caregiver Stories. Please read our author guidelines for more information and use our contact form to submit guest articles.

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11 Comments

  1. Don’t have time/room for negativity in my life I’m too busy giving dad 24/7 care & when possible taking care of myself as well……I have learned to choose my battles & let go of what I can not change!!!

    Reply
  2. Harsh reality.

    Reply
  3. Caregiving is a negative thought.

    Reply
  4. No i avoid negativity let love in .Nothng can stop me from caring i dnt even have to lift a finger.You can not let negativity in when you give care its commm sense and otherwise you need to find a thng to do that doesnt accomadate negative thorts or deal with the thousands of negative thought you thnk daily imediately whenever you intereact with anythng

    Reply
  5. No dollars no help. Period. Articles like this upset me. More lobbying . When our nation recognizes this as a crisis . 40% of sole caregivers pass before those they care for. That’s the story

    Reply
  6. Lately…..yes have been going through changes and different aides it can get frustrating tiresome and burning out myself physically and mentally

    Reply
    • Sophia, it’s a roller coaster like no other. Embrace the life that you care for, especially holding on to the good times. Do the same for yourself reflect on the good times you’ve shared. You need to take full advantage of any respite time you may get even if it’s only a hour or two. I’ve learned to be humble and thankful that I’m able to help care for my wife. Physically I’m beat up. But my mind has strengthened over the last eight years. I get 5 days respite every 60 days with Hospice. It goes by way to fast but it does give you a chance to recharge your batteries ever so little. Stay strong.

      Reply

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