You can get so wrapped up in caring for a loved one with a mental illness that you forget about yourself.
Soon you begin to feel overwhelmed and unable to perform your role to the best of your ability. Feeling of stress and anxiety take over.
I recently took a break because I realised that my levels of anxiety had risen to an acceptable level.
A few days later, I began to recover. My anxiety and stress came down. I was smiling again, making little jokes and enjoying myself.
It’s not always an option for a caregiver to get away from a loved one with a mental illness. They may not have other people who can provide them with support. And, it costs a lot to place your loved one in a care facility for a few days or a week.
It’s difficult for a caregiver. One thing to think about is having mini breaks, which I do myself. This might include taking a walk, going to the shops on your own, and going outside for a few minutes, especially in my case where I don’t have a separate study.
I’ve looked at some of the research and it’s worrying. When you have high levels of anxiety, chemicals react in your body and compromise your health.
So it’s no light matter. The point I’m trying to make here is that you can be physically affected by all the caring that you are doing.
It’s not a permanent solution to get away. You have to re-engage eventually. This in itself is difficult after you’ve had a break or time on your own.
But some of us have no other choice. Our loved one may well have no other place to go.
Breaks are important. Recognise the signs in yourself when it’s time to have a break so that you can get some space to recover and heal yourself.
PS Chesney Bradshaw is a skilled helper with sixteen years experience. Click on this link if you need help. My coaching could change your life as a caregiver for the better.