DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
CARETAKERS: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TOO
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2014
It’s summer and time to enjoy some well-deserved vacation. But many people taking care of infirm family members or children of relatives never get a minute to themselves. Caregivers have to look out for their health and well-being too, so start doing things differently to keep burnout from taking its toll on you.
Ask for Help
Sure, you’re probably the best caretaker for the family, but your energy and emotional reserves are not limitless. Ask for help. You have siblings and other people in your family who can take on some of the responsibility for a while. Expect them to do so. Stop doing the martyr-thing, suffering in silence while everyone enjoys their lives without the slightest inconvenience or sacrifice. The responsibility to care for family members who have no other options belongs to all of you, not just to you. Speak up and get the help you need.
Take A Break
Though you probably need help throughout the year, at the very least ask others to step up so you can take a break now. You need time off like everyone else, and if you do nothing more than stare at the ceiling on your vacation, that’s fine too. Give your mind and body a chance to rest. Go out and enjoy yourself. Do whatever you want during this break because it probably will be a long time before you get another one.
Use this opportunity to let your relatives know that you want to readjust the caregiving arrangements so that the responsibility is shared a little better with others. You will still probably carry the biggest load, but it’s important for everyone to understand that they are taking advantage of you, your kindness, and generosity. They can’t read your mind, so tell them the type of help you need and hold a family meeting to discuss these issues. If only one or two others pitch in to help throughout the year, you’ll be better off than you are now!
Caring for family members is stressful and you need time off to rest and rejuvenate. Others will stand by and watch you wear yourself out if you let them, so speak up and ask for help today.
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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