As a Caregiver, it is difficult to manage your life, a relationship with your significant other, your childrens’ lives as well as the life of the loved one you are caring for – it is a constant juggling act of responsibilities. Throw in a part-time or full-time career and you’re in a perpetual state of exhaustion, on the verge of a breakdown and will quite possibly forget something you need to accomplish on any given day.
The struggle is real.
So what is the key to managing life as a Caregiver? And no, not a vacation in Maui! Because really, Caregivers may not even have time for that. The key is … asking for help.
One person can’t possibly do it all. Your physical and mental health will suffer, you’ll snap at your loved ones, and every aspect of your life will suffer the repercussions.
You can’t do it all, so don’t do that to yourself. Take a step away from that mindset that you need to do it all because:
- You said you would
- It is in your nature to be a leader
- No one can do [insert anything] as good as you
- They’ll say no anyway
Hogwash! Step out of your comfort zone, feel vulnerable, and work up the courage to ask for help. Asking for help can come in many forms, and even help with the simplest of tasks can be just what you need to relieve the stress on any given day or week as a Caregiver.
What does asking for help really mean?
It can mean asking for anything that will help you manage the daily rigors of being Caregiver. Don’t underestimate the fact that most people in your life will be there for you; they are ready and willing to help. Communicating your needs is important! Your loved ones, even your Co-Caregivers are not mind readers. They don’t know that you need help unless you ask them.
Help can come in many forms and doesn’t necessarily have to be an ‘ask’:
- Hire a sitter so you can go to your spin class
- Ask your significant other to bring in the class snack/pick-up from the activity/go on the school trip
- Hire a neighborhood kid to mow the lawn
- Meet your friends for dinner without feeling the guilt
- Ask a Co-Caregiver to take Mom or Dad to their doctor appointment one week
Having a good support system as a Caregiver is not only important, it is necessary! The support will refresh your body, soul and mind. Asking for help, being able to unload and recharge is the most important part of being a Caregiver- for yourself and the person you care caring for.