Being a family caregiver is an all-consuming role. It takes so much of your energy, time, and focus that when you no longer need to provide care, it can leave you feeling lost. Other common feelings to expect when you are no longer assisting as caregiver for a loved one include:
- And so many more
Finding Yourself After You’re No Longer a Caregiver
You’ll need time to redefine what life looks like when it does not include putting someone else’s needs first. Devote some time for reflection on your caregiving experience. What did you learn? How did it change you?
It’s expected that you’ll have some level of guilt when you’re no longer a caregiver. You could feel as if there were things you should have done differently or might have done better. The “what ifs” are quite common, and it can be easy to fall into feelings of regret. It is important to forgive yourself and alter your internal dialogue to concentrate on the many positive ways you impacted your family member while providing care. Accept any mistakes, real or perceived, by understanding that you are human and that you did your very best. Extend the same grace to yourself that you’d extend to someone else.
Once you’ve processed the complex emotions surrounding this transitional time, think through the following:
- What activities, hobbies, and passions do you want to pursue?
- Are there volunteer opportunities that interest you?
- What relationships have had to take a back seat while you were providing care? What steps can you take to rebuild them?
- How do you want to structure your days now that you have more time available?
Take small steps toward short term goals rather than biting off more than you might be able to chew. For instance, you may choose to reach out to one trusted friend to see if they would want to meet for a weekly lunch or coffee date. Take sufficient time for self-care to nurture both your body and mind, and gradually add on more activities as you feel prepared to take them on.
Talk to Golden Harmony
If you start to miss offering care for others, we would love to speak with you about an opportunity to use your skills and compassion to brighten life for another person in need of assistance. Your experience as a family caregiver makes you a great fit for a professional caregiving role, and we’ll equip you with full training and all the support you need to make a difference in someone else’s life.