It’s easy to forget about taking breaks, especially when you’re super busy. Taking breaks can also feel as if you’re being selfish or you’re wasting time. None of that is true. In fact, breaks are an essential part of being a healthy caregiver. So, how can you tell you might have been waiting a little too long?
You Feel Off and Can’t Really Describe It
As a caregiver, it’s easy to ignore the stress building up. What can often end up happening is that you start to detach a little bit from your feelings and stop realizing how much caregiving is taking out of you. If you haven’t had a break, even for an hour or two, recently, that’s your biggest sign that you need to be taking one. Combined with not feeling quite like yourself, that’s your answer.
You’re Having a Lot of Negative Feelings
Negative feelings are a regular part of life. But if you’re experiencing those feelings more often, that’s a sign that you’ve got some other things going on emotionally and mentally. Stress can definitely contribute to making it difficult to deal with negative emotions. Start looking for other ways that you can start to manage how you’re feeling, including taking at least an hour or two away from caregiving.
You’re Giving and Giving and Giving
Being a caregiver means that you’re consistently giving and giving. But even the most generous person can’t keep giving indiscriminately and never fill their own cup. Taking a break and paying attention to your own needs is the easiest way for you to be able to refuel yourself so that you can do all the giving that you want to do.
You Feel Like You’re Never Going to Get Any Help
You might not think about this very often, but lots of times caregivers give up on taking breaks because they’ve started to realize that they’re not going to get the kind of help they really need from other family members. If that’s the case, it’s really important for you to realize that those aren’t your only sources of help. You can bring in elderly care providers to stay with your senior while you take some time away and still get the benefits of that time. It’s not bad or wrong to get someone else’s help, especially when you need it.
Paying attention to the signs that you’re not doing as well as you think you are makes you a stronger caregiver. You need to take breaks in order to keep giving your senior what she needs.