Some behavior changes take place over such a long period of time that you might not really notice that they’ve changed. This can definitely happen with caregiving, especially when you as a caregiver start to feel overwhelmed by the stress.
Avoiding Responsibilities You Once Embraced.
Being a caregiver is all about tackling the various responsibilities that fall to you. At first, this might seem easy for you to do, but after time it weighs on you. You might even find that you’re finding ways to avoid as many of these responsibilities as possible. This doesn’t mean that you’re delegating them, but that you’re possibly ignoring them or putting them off as long as possible.
You’re Avoiding People.
Caregivers sometimes find that they can’t handle being around people for a little while. That can turn quickly into isolation, however. Keeping yourself isolated from everyone besides your aging family member and the people you absolutely can’t avoid is a recipe for disaster. Reinvigorate your social life by reaching out to friends and family.
Your Temper Is Getting Shorter and Shorter.
One big sign that you’re emotionally stretched to your limit is that your temper is quicker than ever to trigger. This can be especially harmful when you lash out on people who aren’t responsible at all for how you’re feeling. Take the time to look at why you’re really frustrated and with whom you’re sharing these feelings.
Playing Hooky from Work or Home Feels Great.
Taking a mental health day from work or even from caregiving feels great and it’s definitely something that you should be doing. But if you’re finding excuses to avoid being where you’re supposed to be, that can be a sign of trouble. Really look at why you’re trying to avoid being certain places and see if there’s something you could do to fix that problem.
It Takes Longer and Longer to Do the Same Tasks You Used to Do Quickly.
When you first started caregiving, you might have tackled some tasks quickly and enthusiastically. But now you’re procrastinating those same tasks. The reason can be that you’re tired of the same old routine or that you’re burning out from doing everything yourself. Get some help, whether that means hiring elder care providers or asking family members to pitch in.
Stepping away from caregiving, even temporarily, can help you to sort through what you’re feeling and what you want from the rest of your caregiving journey.