Caregiving is an emotional job. You forge connections, and your clients sometimes feel like more than clients. Not every emotion, however, can or will be positive in the process of caregiving. However, that doesn’t mean that you should repress these emotions. It’s important to understand that the emotions you feel while caregiving should be noticed by you, and not ignored.
Not dealing with or facing particularly negative emotions can be damaging in the long run. You can lose sleep or become stressed out because something like fear or anxiety will overrule you. Even worse, a negative emotion you refuse or maybe just struggle to cope with may be a driving force for a negative action down the line during caregiving. It’s important to know how you feel, and to find the proper way to cope accordingly.
The sooner you analyse and work to deal with a negative emotion, the sooner you and the care receiver can get back to a happy and healthy existence. Keep reading to learn about possible emotions you may feel as a caregiver, and suggestions as to how to cope with them.
Anger can arise when your care receiver can be difficult, whether intentionally or not. Sometimes personalities simply clash, and sometimes certain diseases and inflictions suffered by the care receiver can make the job very difficult to cope with. When a care receiver, for any reason, becomes tough to deal with, you should not let your frustration get the best of you. It is much better to take a deep breath, smile through it while on the job, then speak about or articulate your feelings of anger with a friend, partner, or even a specialist when you’re off the job.
Boredom can come up a lot during the job. Some days, you may just not want to be there. It doesn’t make you a bad person–this can be a tough and trying job, with monotonous moments here and there. Much of the job is about tailoring your energies to fulfilling the wants and needs of someone else, wants and needs that can be a far cry from your own. Understand that boredom is a naturally occurring emotion for this job, and any job really, so if you ever feel bored by or ambivalent about your care receiver or their demands, just remember that if you work through the boredom you could potentially make your care receiver’s day. Just make sure this boredom doesn’t seep into your free time, because it is very important that you satisfy your own wants and needs on your own time. Otherwise, you could potentially have a very hard time on the job.
Sadness is a feeling many caregivers report. This is a job that can leave you feeling hopeless and helpless at times, and it’s important to not let these feelings overwhelm you. Many times, you are watching someone on a decline, or near death. If caregiving makes you feel overwhelmingly sad on a consistent basis, you may be dealing with depression, and should seek treatment. On your own, however, you can alleviate sadness or depression with exercise, creative activities, and socializing.
Disgust is something a caregiver is bound to feel at one point or another. Having to help bathe or assist someone on the toilet can be a tough task, as is helping those who are incontinent with stool or urine and need to wear an adult diaper that a caregiver must change. Bad hygienic habits can also inspire repulsion. However, you must realize that a lot of this is out of your control, and may also be out of the control for the care receiver as well. You should not feel guilty for feeling repulsed by the results of incontinence and poor hygiene. If you need to, consider having an attendant or even an occupational therapist assist you in your caregiving duties to make it a little easier.
Embarrassment can come when you take your care receiver into public. Sometimes they can be quite rude or generally obnoxious. Sometimes, if they have bad hygiene, it will be more than their comments that will turn heads. Sometimes, the caregiver can be as much the center of attention in these moments as the care receiver. It is important to know that, in some cases, the behavior a care receiver exhibits is not always in their control. If a care receiver has dementia, you ought to be especially patient and understanding. If they are just being difficult, learn to take a deep breath and try to calm them.
We hope you may have learned a thing or two from this blog. If you are new to caregiving, then know that these emotions are absolutely normal. It can be hard when these emotions spring up, especially when you are caring for a relative or close friend or loved one, but understand that you are not alone, and that the best thing you can do is to cope successfully with these emotions.
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