When you’re busy running from one task to another as a caregiver, it’s not always easy to spot the hole you’re leaving in your own social life. Friends and family that you might have seen often may only get a quick phone call now and again that slows down even more. Reviving your relationships can bring a new level of support to you when you need it most.
Call up a Friend You Haven’t Seen in a While.
If you haven’t talked to some of your friends for a while, make it a point to reach out. If a phone call isn’t convenient, try sending a text message or dropping a note. The act of reaching out lets that person know that they’re important to you and that the relationship itself is important. You don’t have to start any deep conversations, either. Simply asking how they’re doing is an excellent start.
Reach out to Strangers.
This might sound strange, but when it comes to being a busy caregiver, you might not realize how isolated you’ve gotten. Friends may seem inaccessible and family might be far away. So you can practice interacting with other people by reaching out to strangers you encounter and other people you don’t know so well. As you gain more practice, it can become easier to have those more difficult conversations with people you haven’t talked to in a while.
Focus on Positive Interactions.
Unfortunately, you might encounter some negativity. As a caregiver, you don’t have a lot of room for negativity. The more positive interactions you can surround yourself with, the better for your emotional state. Do what you can to interact with people who are positive because it can help you to maintain your own positive attitude when the going gets tough.
Join a Support Group or a Community.
Having a group of people with whom you can relate and interact can be powerful for you as a person and as a caregiver. You might want to join a support group for caregivers, but that shouldn’t be your only interactions with other people. Try joining a class or a club in your area in which you share interests with the other participants. You’ll meet new people with whom you’ll have something in common.
It’s difficult to maintain your relationships when you’re so busy being a family caregiver. But taking the time to reach out is worth it in the end. It also benefits you and your own emotional health to have relationships beyond the one with your aging adult.