The role of caregiver is fraught with the demands of both time and energy, often when both commodities are at a high premium in one’s life.
Many adults find themselves caring for parents and children simultaneously as well as juggling a work and home environment where added stressors multiply quickly. As in any demanding time of life, prioritizing what goes at the top of the list is very important.
It may seem counterintuitive, but put your name at the top of the list.
You are giving and giving and giving and if nothing is being poured back into your life, you will quickly find yourself very depleted and running on empty. The emptiness syndrome is common in caregiving. Many people find themselves giving up things they have always loved to do and feel resentful.
Here are three ways to prioritize yourself while you are caring for others:
- Find the one thing that will bring you joy and continue to participate in that activity. Recognizing, of course, the constraints of time and energy. But caring for others does not mean that we neglect the things we love that are a part of what recharge and sustain us.
- Reminding yourself of your own limitations. Adults often feel torn between the needs of both parents and children. Giving what you are able in the constraints of a 24-hour time period can feel inadequate at times.
- Enlist the help of others. Finding the support you need may mean that you have the energy to finish that one last task simply because you’ve been able to talk about how hard it is.
Caregiving can take a toll on the healthiest of relationships. If you are in a caretaker role, be sure to practice self-care.
Written by: GROW Staff
Article updated: February 5, 2024