Chances are, if you are reading this blog entry, that you are one of the more than 4 million adults in the U.S. who find themselves in the role of caregiver. You are assisting someone who due to either chronic illness or age-related issues is no longer capable of managing day-to-day tasks without assistance. And, chances are, if the title of this blog caught your eye, you are experiencing that roller coaster ride of emotions that comes with being a caregiver.
No matter how much you love the person you are helping, at times the intensity of the task may make you feel less-than-thrilled to be in the position you hold. Phrases like “it’s not fair”, “no one appreciates what I do anyway,” “how much longer can I do this?” or “I can’t take it anymore!” may play in the background of your consciousness only to surface when the going gets tough. Then, feelings of guilt for even thinking these things creeps in!
So, in order to carry on, you probably have been suppressing these thoughts and emotions. Your personal needs and feelings get pushed to the side in order to function. How else would you be able to manage it all? But, the truth is that suppressing emotions can cause a whole host of physical and mental issues. It’s our body’s way of telling us to pay attention to our own needs – or else! Not addressing how we feel creates a perfect environment for illness to develop. Our immune system weakens and we become more susceptible to viruses, colds, and flu. Our bodies become inflamed (especially when we suppress anger), causing aching joints, back pain or migraines. The stress may cause our sleep to be affected – either creating insomnia or needing more sleep than is typical. And, it’s not uncommon for a caregiver’s weight to change – either losing or gaining weight.
Most caregivers resign themselves to what they have to handle, figuring that all of the effects listed above are just part of the role. But, since you’re here, I believe you are not in that group. You are looking for a way not only to fulfill the needs of your loved one, but also your own needs.
It’s important to know that the needs of one of the individuals in this caregiving relationship do not override or carry more weight than the other. It may feel like that, but it doesn’t have to – and it shouldn’t. By addressing your feelings about your experience, you will bring more understanding and acceptance to it all.
Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or “tapping”) is a wonderful way to understand and release the heightened feelings that can contribute to the stresses of being someone’s caregiver. Getting to the core beliefs behind the anger, frustration, guilt and other emotions will bring you a new sense of peace that will allow both you and the person being cared for to enjoy a more satisfying relationship.
I am offering a complimentary 20-minute consultation to anyone interesting in learning more about how EFT can help his or her individual situation. If you are interested, please contact me at Catherine@cturgeon.com to set up an appointment.