Caregiving is a role which many people may have undertaken without even realising. Let me tell you this though, the role of a family caregiver is never easy. It seems to go on forever and ever where the responsibilities always tend to increase in the long run. Even under normal circumstances, it is such a tough job, I cannot even imagine the hardships faced by caregivers during this pandemic. Self-confidence is needed now more than ever to help you cope with these difficult times. So here is a modest attempt from my part to make your journey a little bit easier-
Believe In Your Inner Voice
It is easy to give in to your fears but difficult to listen to your instincts. But it is often our gut feeling which turns out to be right and seldom fails us. If only, we could have the heart and courage to abide by it more often. When you have taken care of your loved one for years on end, you will surely know them on a very personal level. The doctors may know their medical history better than you, but you know their personality traits, mood swings and quirks much better than them. Trust yourself and do what the heart says.
Always Find The Silver Lining
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! What this saying means is to make the best of any situation no matter how bad the circumstances seem to be. Whenever negative thoughts arise, question them. Think deep and ask yourself whether they are actually true or not. Write them down on a piece of paper and then you will realise just how silly you were being! Recollect all your past achievements and how you have overcome each and every one of them. In a similar fashion, imagine a positive outcome for the future too.
Put On Your Oxygen Mask First
When you are so invested in the well being of your loved one, you often forget about your own health. Self care is such an important aspect of human life, especially in case of selfless family caregivers. It shouldn’t go unattended. Practicing a few simple things any time of the day when you are free can drastically uplift your mood. It could be anything such as yoga, going for a run, listening to music or simply enjoying a cup of tea while reading your favourite novel. How can you take care of someone without ensuring that you are well taken care of?
Knowledge Is Power
There is no human on earth who can say he knows everything. There is never an end to learning. As a caregiver, you can read books, articles and blogs on how to better understand and take care of loved ones. You will never run out of material to read and sharpen your knowledge further. For instance, if your care receiver is suffering from dementia, then gather as much information as possible on the disease. This way you will feel more confident and empowered to face any challenge that may come your way.
Apart from the above tips to boost self-confidence, always try to remain calm and approach every problem systematically. Have a cool personality and a sharp presence of mind so that your loved one always feels protected. When in doubt, repeat this phrase in your head-
“I am doing my best and I am proud of myself.”