One situation that most caregivers encounter is that moment each day or each week in which they hit their limit. That’s overwhelming and it can really feel paralyzing if you don’t develop some techniques for dealing with it properly.
Learn to Notice When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
It’s sometimes difficult to notice what the beginning stages of overwhelmed feel like. When you ignore those initial hints, you suddenly find yourself sinking underwater and you have no idea how you got there. Start paying a little closer attention to how you’re feeling as you’re going through your day. It gets easier and easier to spot when a situation is getting you a little closer to that point when you feel like you’ve lost control.
Remember That Your Reactions Are Normal
If you’ve been beating yourself up for not feeling more prepared or you’ve told yourself you shouldn’t be feeling a certain way, save yourself the time and stop. You don’t have to change your reactions, just remind yourself that they’re normal because you’re human. The key to responding differently is noticing that overwhelm is coming closer and taking steps to avoid it much sooner than you have been. That’s going to give you far better results.
Mini Breaks Help So Much
How often each day do you give yourself five minutes to grab some air? Or a couple of minutes to just take some deep breaths and close your eyes? Those are mini-breaks and they can do much more for you than you might realize. These are an opportunity for you to take a tiny step back from the situation you’re in, re-center yourself, and jump back in. These are not the only types of breaks that you need to be taking, however.
Longer Breaks Are Possible and Necessary
Longer breaks are absolutely something that you need to mix into your schedule more often. These allow you to take longer periods of time, whether that’s a couple of hours or an entire day, away from caregiving to do whatever you need or want to do. Working closely with senior care providers allows you to become more comfortable with the idea of taking time away. They can be there for your senior while you focus on yourself for a little while.
When you’re approaching overwhelm in a positive and healthy way, you can start to avoid it before it fully arrives. That gives you a chance to use the tools and techniques you’re mastering.