February 19, 2020
If you’re feeling run down as a caregiver, you need to figure out what makes you happy and excited again. Sometimes caregiving keeps you from doing what you love and that can get dangerous for you emotionally and psychologically.
What Is it that You Enjoy?
Something you might find as a caregiver is that it’s easy to forget what you used to enjoy doing. Sit down and think about what you used to do and what you used to enjoy doing. What kinds of activities lit you up and got you excited about life? Backpacking through Europe may make the list, but it might not be something that you can fit into your life right now. Keep making the list and don’t censor yourself. Later you can use this list to help you determine what’s realistic for you to do with downtime now.
Are You Letting Yourself Get Too Run Down?
The next thing for you to evaluate is whether you’re letting yourself get too run down. If you’re not sleeping well, not eating right, and not doing a lot of the things that bring you joy, that’s going to gradually run you down. Something you can do is pay attention to indicators that you’re starting to get run down. That might be little things like you’re more irritable than usual.
What Does it Feel Like When You’re Running Down?
As you start learning what it looks like when you’re run down, you can start to notice the little signs ahead of the time. Journaling or keeping a log can also help you to notice the signs a little bit sooner. When you know that sleeping poorly three nights in a row is going to make you feel a certain way, then noticing that you haven’t slept well twice in a row can be a red flag for you.
Find Ways to Stay Accountable
Having an accountability partner is so helpful in situations like this. When you know that someone else is helping you to keep track of how you’re doing, you’re going to be more likely to try to stay on target. One place where you might find accountability partners could be at caregiver support meetings. Other caregivers are in a similar situation as yours and could probably use some similar assistance in staying on target.
Ultimately getting excited about caregiving and about life is all about enjoying what you’re doing. When you’ve got activities that you enjoy and that you can make time to do, that helps. Don’t allow yourself to be “too busy” to do the things you love. Take respite time and use it to do what you enjoy doing.