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Mental Wellness for caregivers

Posted Sep 22 2008 4:36pm

Anything that begins, “Do you worry?” always gets my attention because worrying is one of my strongest skills and I’m always looking for good tips. However, most of them seem to be about how to worry less, so that makes me think that my quest for gold in the Worry Olympics might not be a worthy pursuit.

CK Wilde gives us Mental Wellness for Caregivers - 5 Quick Tips at 3GenFamily.

It’s great advice, even the “make time for yourself” part that caregivers constantly hear, but the part that I need to work on is #3:

3. Do you have a fear lurking in the corner of your mind that you keep trying to push down but it keeps coming back?

“I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened”. — Mark Twain

Recognize that many of your fears are unfounded. We scare ourselves by imagining negative outcomes that will never happen.

When my mother was first diagnosed with cancer, I mentally covered every worst case scenario of the trajectory of her illness in the first 15 minutes after her the doctor left the room (That’s just what I do. I know.). But, oddly enough, it made me feel like I was doing something, preparing myself, I guess. Indeed, none of those scenarios leading to her death came true, but I sure did cause myself a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

I should have used that energy elsewhere, since when you are a caregiver there are so many other things that need doing, that the ability to clear your mind of unfounded fears is imperative not only for your loved one, but for your own well being.

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