Five Steps To Take On The Journey To Happiness, When You're A Caregiver
Hello everyone! It’s time to start another week. I feel so blessed and happy that I made it. But, I can I tell you something? I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and depressed today.
I always try to keep things positive and light. I’ve been told countless times before that the best blogs are positive; and believe me I strive to be positive 99.9% of the time. But, at this moment, I’m at about an 80% on the positive scale. I actually can’t stop thinking about how much I want to run away and sleep. Does that make me a bad person?
I hope not. It’s just how I’m feeling at the moment, and I want to be honest about my feelings. Caregivers are rarely honest about how we feel. We always put on the front that everything is “ok”. But, it’s not all of the time. Many of us are trying to juggle families, jobs, bills, and making a life for ourselves. So, we’re exhausted, and that exhaustion can make us run on “auto-pilot” to get through life.
I don’t do “auto-pilot” anymore. But, I used too. I lived on “auto-pilot” for about two and a half years; until I finally decided it’s better to confront my feelings and wake up. So, I came up with these steps to help turn “the lights back on” when all you want to do is cut and run.
- Acknowledge what you’re feeling: If you’re mad or sad, you have to acknowledge it. If you try to stuff your feelings away, all they do is bottle up and come back as an explosion. That just means you are about to make your blood pressure go up, and people are going to look at you like you’re crazy because they’re not going to understand where all of this is coming from. You can change what you acknowledge is wrong.
- Get quiet: It’s ok to take a moment to yourself. You need that moment to either sleep, scream, shop, or do whatever is going to help you get back to your center. That time you invest in yourself is your opportunity to heal. Remember when you’re at your best, your family will be too.
- Figure out what it’s going to take to make you feel better: What do you need to move past this moment? Do you need to take a night off? Do you need to get more sleep? Or do you need help managing things at home? When you’re able to figure out what you need to make things more bearable, you can go get it. It’s all about moving past this feeling, so you can move forward happily. Your happiness is a top priority; give someone the opportunity to help you achieve it.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: You’ve taken the time to acknowledge your feelings by getting quiet, and you know what you need to move past it. So, ask for what you need. By communicating in a thoughtful way what we need to be happy and supported, we’re giving someone the opportunity to care for us. Everyone needs someone. We can’t and shouldn’t try to do everything. Believe me, I know this is hard. I struggle with this one too ;-). But, we have to give someone a chance to be there for us. It’s too much weight on our shoulders, and sooner or later it will crush us.
- Don’t rush the process: Take your time when trying to get back to normal. It’s easy to try and rush back to “happy”. But, is that truly acknowledging what you need? It’s ok, not to feel happy. It becomes a problem if this is a daily feeling, and if that’s how you feel seek help. There is no shame in counseling. I went to counseling for over a year, and it really helped me. Take the time to do the work to be better.
I hope these steps will help you in the process. Just remember how much you matter, and it’s ok not to be happy. Just make sure you do the work to ensure that’s just a momentary feeling, and not a daily way of life. Have a wonderful week. We’ll talk again soon!