Caregivers are generally kind, compassionate people. Whether you are a member of the family who provides care for an elderly loved one, or a professional caregiver, self-compassion is important. It seems that in many cases, those who find themselves in caregiver roles, whether caring for an aging senior or a child with special needs, often neglect themselves. As a caregiver, caring for yourself and having compassion for your own needs is essential!
Did you know that self-compassion is associated with mental health, healthy behaviors, and helping you avoid burnout or fatigue from helping others? You may not really know what self-compassion is, but it is actually mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity. In order to be an exceptional caregiver, it’s important to recognize that no human being is perfect, that we all have painful feelings, and that understanding ourselves rather than being judgmental or critical is essential. We all make mistakes or are inadequate in some way; self compassion helps you bear those circumstances in life that seem too difficult or painful to bear, and helps you forgive yourself for mistakes – which we all make.
Others typically won’t be compassionate, so it’s important that you choose to practice self-compassion in order to help you cope and be balanced emotionally. A strong, positive mind is essential in dealing with the elderly, whether a parent, relative, or someone who is totally unrelated to you in order to deal with the challenges you face in a skillful, positive manner.
At Care Indeed, we urge caregivers to give yourself a little compassion whenever you feel you are having trouble coping, or if you’ve made a mistake. Self-compassion makes it possible to get through situations that are difficult, and provides peace of mind and greater happiness as well. Remember: we are all human, we all make mistakes, and coping well in situations involving senior family members or the elderly can be very difficult. Don’t be so hard on yourself!