It's not uncommon to experience peer pressure and guilt, due to a person's caring duties
The strain as a carer, juggling our jobs, family responsibilities, personal life, and caring duties can leave us feeling guilty for being unable to do it all. The reality is, we can only do so much, and sometimes it can be hard to accept that we just don’t have enough time in the day to do everything we need to do, especially if there’s a family or caring emergency.
Guilt can come in many different forms, here’s a few of the key ones:
- Comparing yourself to other carers - This can lead to you feeling like you are not doing enough, that you are failing your loved one or your family. Never compare yourself to someone else, as we cannot presume to know everything about what goes on behind closed doors. It’s important to remember that social media is a sanitised version of reality. Often, you don’t see the hard moments or, if you do, you will see a hard moment in hindsight when things seem much calmer.
- Being paid through the Carer’s Allowance - You may feel that you shouldn't be getting paid for looking after your family. Often there is a hesitation to accept the Carer’s Allowance due to the stigma of accepting money for caring for a loved one. You are fully deserving of all the support that you are legally entitled to. You are doing unpaid work and contributing to saving the NHS £132 billion per year. The acceptance of support does not take away from all of the good you’re doing.
- Transitioning to professional care - If professional intervention is needed, this is not a comment on your caring or how much you care about your loved one. Ultimately, it is about what is best for both of you and it is not all on you to fix everything. It is worth seeking help even if you initially feel doubtful.
- Losing your temper or feeling inpatient - We are all human, the emotional challenges of caring can prove too much at times. It’s important to set boundaries so when you do feel overwhelmed, you know to step back and give yourself a few minutes to recover.
If guilt is starting to overwhelm you, here are some ways you can combat it:
Accept your guilt for what it is
It’s completely normal to feel guilt, make a mental note or even write in a diary why you’re feeling this way. Writing it down or talking to someone about your guilt is a great way to relieve the initial pressure of how you’re feeling.
Forgive and move on
Guilt is common.
Sometimes all it takes is to forgive or accept what’s happened/happening. Forgiveness might not mean apologising to someone else, it may also mean forgiving yourself and accepting the situation you’re in.
At first, this can be challenging, but with practice, self-affirmation is a great way to boost confidence and work on combating feelings of guilt and lower self-worth. Start off with something simple and recite it to yourself every morning and every evening. To learn more about self-affirmation and how it works, see Healthline’s useful article here.
There are many ways to meditate to help our mood and well-being, below are two techniques to help when we feel overwhelmed:
Heart-based meditation with Karen Richards
Breathing Exercises with Mark Spikings
The important thing is that you do not feel overwhelmed and your loved one feels safe, if either of these things are not working for you it would be a good idea to seek professional help or a mediator.
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