Wednesday Workshop – Got Guilt? – Managing the Many Emotions of Caregiving
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Guilt has a purpose in life. If we are mean, we should feel guilty. But guilt is a complicated emotion. As caregivers, we take on the expectations of our community and our family. And then we take on the expectations of our toughest critic – ourselves. That committee that meets in our head tells us we are not doing this caregiving thing well enough.
If you’re the kind of person prone to guilt, learn to manage guilt so that guilt serves you rather than imprisons you. Here are seven tips for managing your caregiver guilt:
- Recognize the feeling of guilt – Unrecognized guilt eats away at your soul.
- Identify other feelings – Often, there are feelings under the feeling of guilt. Name those, too. For example, say to yourself: “I hate to admit this to myself, but I’m resentful that Dad’s illness changed all of our lives.” Once you put it into words, you will have a new perspective.
- Be compassionate with yourself – When you give yourself permission to have any feeling, and recognize that your feelings don’t control your actions, your guilt will subside.
- Look for the cause of the guilt – What is the mismatch between this “Ideal You” and the real you? Do you have an unmet need? Do you need to change your actions so that they align with your values?
- Take action – Meet your needs. Needs are not bad or good; they just are. If you need some time alone, find someone to be with your loved one.
- Ask for help – Call a friend and say, “I’m going through a hard time. Do you have a few minutes just to listen?” Have a family meeting and say, “Our lives have been a lot different since grandma got sick. I’m spending more time with her. Let’s figure out together how we’ll get everything done.”
- Revisit and reinvent the “Ideal You” – You made the best choices based on your resources and knowledge at the time. As you look to the future, you can create a refined vision of the “Ideal You.” What legacy do you want to leave?
To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Please call (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!