Mental Well-Being

A Separate Peace: Finding Relief from Responsibility

August 1, 2023

When taking on the responsibility of being a caregiver for a loved one, it’s easy to quickly feel overwhelmed. Looking after someone else’s needs takes time away from your own. And as much as you want to be there for the person who depends on you, you’ll give them better care if you prioritize yourself as well.

Knowing When to Step Back

It’s okay to feel a lot of strong emotions around becoming a caregiver for someone, regardless of how much of the caregiving you’re actually doing. Whether you’re looking after a sick parent, grandparent, or child, it can be a stressful and overwhelming process adapting to their needs. But never forget you have needs of your own, and it’s just as important to recognize when those needs aren’t being addressed as it is to take care of your loved ones. 

If you feel the stress mounting and you aren’t sure what to do, try a few of the following activities: 

Yoga. Simple exercise like yoga can be a great way to center yourself and realign your priorities. And if the person you’re caring for is physically able, then yoga can be a great way to bond and help them get some exercise while still taking care of your mental and physical health. 

Take a spa day. This one might sound a little silly at first, but we mean it. Take a day to treat yourself. It doesn’t have to require a big fancy spa facility. There are plenty of at-home or readily available resources you can use to turn your home into a relaxing, safe space for relaxation and comfort. 

Breathe in. Breathe out. Sometimes just stepping away for a moment and doing a few mindful breathing exercises is all you need to feel like yourself again. These simple, easy techniques are something you can do anywhere, anytime, which will help make sure you have the relief you need right when you need it.

It’s Okay to Be Not Okay

When you’re responsible for caring for someone else, especially a loved one, you may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. But you don’t have to handle everything on your own. For a fee, respite care in your area can offer relief by temporarily turning over care duties to trained professionals. Also, Hancock Health provides several resources for long-term care patients. No matter what your needs are, we’re prepared to help you on this journey.