Caregiving brings up a lot of emotions, not only for other family members and your elderly loved one, but also for you. Sometimes these barriers keep you from getting the help that you need.
What Are Emotional Barriers?
Emotional barriers are thoughts and feelings that you might have that could keep you locked into, or even out of, engaging in specific behaviors. Another way to think about emotional barriers is to call them limiting beliefs. You may not realize that you’re even dealing with potential emotional barriers, since they can be so ingrained in your thought processes.
Identify Your Emotional Barriers
There are some common emotional barriers you might encounter as a family caregiver. You might worry that taking care of yourself is selfish, for example, or you might worry that other people can’t take care of your elderly loved one properly. You may have trouble asking for help or feel that you’re worthless if you do need help. All of these examples and others can constitute emotional barriers that keep you from being fully the family caregiver that you can be. The sooner you can identify your barriers, the sooner you can start to work on them.
Determine if There’s Any Reality to Your Emotional Barriers
The fastest way to resolve an emotional barrier is to realize on a conscious level that the barrier isn’t a realistic one. Once you do that, it’s easier to break through and allow that emotional barrier to fall. For example, in the case of feeling worthless about needing help, it’s important to look at the full picture. You’re likely not asking for help with every single thing that you do all day but the tasks that you really do need help with. That’s not the act of someone who is worthless, it’s the act of someone who has too much to do on her own.
Look for Solutions
As the barriers start to fall, you can start looking for reasonable solutions. For instance, your other family members may be able to help with tasks you can’t handle on your own, such as running errands, doing yardwork or even helping your loved one cook. You might also start to realize that having professionals around is important for you to feel more secure, so hiring elder care providers can give you that peace of mind.
Once you can identify and debunk your emotional barriers, it’s a lot easier to start enjoying being a caregiver.