LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR LONELINESS
Caregivers comment that the caregiving separates the caregivers from their normal lives and the people who are in them. They note that such a condition leaves them estranged from everything that was normal for them, and begin to realize that love is missing from their lives. They miss not only the loved ones to whom they offer care, whom they now feel are missing, but also miss the other people in their lives. They become lonely. They miss the routine and the things and the people they loved. In conclusion, below view 10 sensible ways to begin ending your loneliness:
Believe In Yourself – Who were you before you became a caregiver? Did your family love you? What did you enjoy doing? Did you have trustworthy friends? Were you good at your job? Did you have confidence in yourself? Did others like you? If the answers are yes, and they probably are, return to those admirable qualities of your life. You still have those features, skills and inclinations. Use them to help end your loneliness.
Learn To Love Yourself – Now is a good time to remember all of those who have loved you, have shared their feelings, and have extended their love. Being loved by others, and loving them in return, makes it very difficult to suffer the pains and torment of being lonely. You can love your way out of being so lonely. You can provide the main ingredient of being happy again. You can determine your own happiness.
Be Realistic About How You Feel - Practice reminding yourself that others feel lonely, too. It is part of the human experience that most people share at some time or other. And just as you would show compassion for anyone else who suffers from being lonely, you also deserve this caring response. So, choose to see yourself with perspective—as you would see someone else—and tell yourself that it is sad that you feel so alone. And, when and if you make the decision, determine you are not going to be alone.
Find Supporting Others For Your Life - If you have supportive others in your life, reach out to them. Take a deep breath, pick up the phone to text or call, and ask for support in whatever form you need. Allowing yourself to truly connect with others will help you feel emotionally stronger and less alone.
Be Positive In All Aspects of Life - Replace negative talk and thoughts with positive messages that affirm just how hard you are trying and how wonderful you are going to be. Let others know that you have a positive outlook on life and welcome their love, friendship and support.
Avoid Temptation To Isolate Yourself – Don’t depart from loving and supporting relationships with others. Don’t isolate yourself. In isolation you have too much time to think about negative thoughts instead of just how good and worthwhile you actually are. Be available to others and return their kind attention.
Develop Your Support Networks - Even if there is only one person to start with, build on that. Don’t underestimate the importance of what you have to offer. Also pay attention to your social network. Don’t wait for friends to take action – you do it. Don’t wait for an invitation. Be willing to take a risk, be proactive and invite people to share in your life.
Speak Up. Ask For What You Need – Be willing to speak up. Tell people what you need from them to alleviate the loneliness. Friends respond to direct messages for help and support. Open yourself up, take risks, and allow yourself to be a little vulnerable. Share aspects of yourself, including experiences, feelings, memories, dreams, desires, etc.
Be More Personal with Loved Ones – That means all loved ones, but particularly the one(s) for whom you are providing special care. It is not too late to draw closer to your patient(s). Forget the reasons that seem to be drawing you apart and instead begin building a happier, more personal relationship. That could very well apply to all of your other relationships.
Determine Your Faith and Trust – Identify how and if you are going to place your faith. For some, faith in a heavenly being will add spiritual strength. For others, less faith in religion but in something else may better satisfy their needs. But exercising faith and or trust in whomever it is placed tends to eliminate the feeling of being alone.
What If You Don’t Get What You Want - What if you work at it, you try hard, and still the difficult in life doesn’t change. Even in those times, you are left with some options. First, you simply must not give up. That isn’t easy. Not receiving a reward for significant work is not easy. But it can be done if you are willing to work at it. Effort and hard work are often at the base of happiness. Don’t let loneliness rob you of happiness.
Take Tom’s example below, he is still working and hoping that joy can return to his marriage relationship. He is a great example:
“….I am also a caregiver to my wife. Chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Parkinsons and hearing impaired. I do all the shopping and cooking and cleaning. Also have a fairly demanding job. I don’t mind the cleaning and cooking etc and I don’t resent her. She is a kind person who was handed a bad hand of cards in life. What eats at me is the loneliness. There is no romance and I gave up trying. It is so different when you are their caretaker, nurse etc, than when you were their sweetheart. I used to try to talk about deep things, feelings and I would hear her snoring.
Life happens. I don’t have the answers. I am afraid for me it is just living one day at a time and finding a moment of joy by myself, like a sunset or a good meal when I am shopping. I wish you all well”.
Tom seems to have plenty of difficulties. Even though lonely and missing early romance, he is trying to remain positive. Maybe his advice will work for most us lonely family caregivers.