The challenges and conflicts family caregivers experience can take a toll on their mental and emotional health. If you are ambivalent about your role as a family caregiver, you could develop insomnia, burnout, anxiety, and depression. However, managing ambivalence can reduce the stress you might be experiencing. Here are some of the things family caregivers can do to avoid feelings of ambivalence.
Accept Your Feelings
Caregivers will likely experience different emotions at different times, and accepting these feelings can make them easier to manage. Keep in mind you are sacrificing a lot of your life to provide high-quality care for your loved one, so the switch from positive to negative emotions is normal. The emotions you experience typically reflect how you are feeling at that moment, but these feelings do not define your overall caregiving experience. For example, giving your loved one a bath may be a difficult task, but taking him or her out for social activities could be a great experience. When you learn to accept the various emotions, you can manage your ambivalence better.
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Review Your Caregiving Tactics
You might need to evaluate the way you take on your role as a family caregiver. Ask yourself if you are receiving enough emotional support and assistance from other family members. Go over your schedule to determine if there are some changes that need to be made. When you have developed good caregiving tactics, you can become more comfortable and less reactive with your caregiver role and responsibilities. You should also consider limiting the amount of tasks you do and learn to say no from time to time, as this could help you alleviate feelings of anger, sadness, and hostility.
Engage in Favorite Activities
When you keep your emotions bottled up inside, your physical, mental, and emotional health could be negatively impacted. It is important to participate in activities and hobbies you enjoyed prior to becoming a caregiver. For example, if you enjoyed working out, you should go to the gym regularly to express your emotions through physical exertion. Pursuing favorite activities gives you the ability to release the mixed emotions you may be experiencing. When family caregivers take a break from their caregiving duties, they can let their emotions out in a healthy way and reduce negative feelings.
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Make Time to Relax
When you are experiencing caregiver ambivalence, the last thing you are likely thinking about is getting rest. However, relaxation is the best way to put your feelings into perspective. Regardless if you are feeling overjoyed or overwhelmed, you need to take some time away from your caregiving duties or the activities that are impacting your mixed emotions. Family caregivers who take time to practice yoga or take a walk can clear their minds and prevent burnout. It is also a good idea to take extended time away to manage personal affairs, catch up on rest, or go on vacation with family and friends.
Hiring a professional home care agency is one of the best ways to take a break from your caregiving duties to relax, de-stress, and stave off negative emotions. Though you may be researching multiple home care agencies, Victoria, BC, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust in Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call one of our professional Care Managers at (250) 592-4881 today.