Emotional support may be one of the last things you think about for yourself as a caregiver, but it’s one of the most important parts of your own care kit. Fleshing out what helps you to feel the greatest amount of support can help you to find the right solutions for you.
Journal about What’s Bothering You
One of the easiest ways to sort through what you’re thinking and feeling is to journal about it. You’re not relying on anyone else to have the time or the energy to talk to you and you can often work through situations rather quickly. Journaling can also give you a way to sort the situation out so that you’re able to finally talk about the issue with someone else.
Talk to a Friend Who Understands
Chances are good that you have at least one friend who has also been or is a family caregiver. That friend can be the kind ear that you need in order to vent or to sift through a difficult situation with your loved one. Even if your friend hasn’t been a caregiver, she may be perfectly willing to listen to you when you need to talk to someone.
Talk to a Professional
Talking to a counselor or a therapist can help you to find tools that can help you further in your search for emotional support as a family caregiver. Counseling can be especially helpful if you and your elderly loved one have a history of difficulty in your relationship. The counselor is a neutral third party who can help you to see things from a different perspective.
Join a Support Group
At first blush, a support group seems like the last thing that you have time for in your busy life. The meetings take place regularly and there’s travel time involved. But at a support group meeting you can meet family caregivers just like you who can help you to learn how to navigate your caregiving journey. Look for groups devoted to topics such as your loved one’s chief health complaint, caregiving in general, or even for one of your own health concerns.
Having senior care providers available can give you the respite care that you need in order to take the time to get the emotional support you need.