Managing Feelings of Frustration and other Emotions
Being a family caregiver entails many responsibilities that are difficult to balance with other parts of your life. As a result, you may feel overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated. However, you may also feel guilty for feeling some of these emotions, especially frustration, because you know your loved one cannot help the condition they have. In this blog, we want to talk about how you can manage your emotions and how to process them in a healthy way.
The first thing to understand is that feeling frustration and other related emotions is normal as a caregiver. It means you are human and that you have limits. You are not expected to handle every situation swimmingly. It is normal to have periods of anger, aggravation, frustration, etc. Also, guilt can be a common reaction to these emotions. Once you accept that these emotions are normal to the caregiver experience, you will understand that feeling guilty is an unproductive response. Accept that a component of caregiving means you will encounter difficult emotions in yourself. Accept that your range of emotions during challenging times is completely normal.
Secondly, to lessen negative emotions, you have to take care of yourself mentally and physically. The more attention you pay to your psychological and physical wellbeing, the more balanced you will be in handling other responsibilities. You must always start with yourself. For example, we recommend the following:
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is perhaps one of the most essential things you need to stay healthy. Sleep is restorative, helping our bodies heal, helping the brain stay healthy, and even helping our bodies manage things like weight maintenance. The effects of sleep are still being widely researched, but one things is certain, humans need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every single night. This should be good quality, uninterrupted sleep. If you are waking up frequently in the middle of the night to use the restroom, or if you are staying up too late, try to reset your sleep schedule. One thing that helps is to avoid TV, phone, and computer screens before you go to bed. The light emitted from these items can disrupt the amount of melatonin your body releases, leading to poorer sleep quality and sleep disturbances. Set a bed time, as well, to hold yourself accountable with a strict schedule.
- Eat Well: Dieting or eating healthy can be very difficult, especially since there are a lot of quick, convenient unhealthy foods available everywhere. We recommend that you ease into a healthy diet, trying to maximize the consumption of lean proteins, colorful vegetables, and whole grains, while minimizing fried foods, white breads, starchy foods, and foods high in sodium and saturated fat. A good diet leads to a healthy body and brain.
- Ask for help when you need it: Do not be embarrassed to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Nobody is asking you to take on the world. Asking for some relief can make a huge difference, and you may even notice that your mood improves, as well as having more time to take care of yourself. Some options that exist for you are respite care through nurse registries like ElderCare at Home.
Finding a balance in your life is not selfish nor does this pursuit warrant guilt. Remember, if you can manage your moods and behaviors, then you will be able to manage the needs of your loved one, as well. When you are off balance, it is hard to care for others. If you want to learn more about ElderCare at Home, call us at 888-285-0093 or visit our website!