Have you ever had to step back from caregiving? Do you think you might in the future? Sometimes the physical, mental, and emotional strain of caregiving can become too much to handle, and you need to take that step back, either temporarily or permanently. Either way, it’s natural to experience feelings of guilt when you do.
While guilt is one of our natural emotions and reactions over a past or present situation, it serves little, if any, positive purpose for our lives. It can lead to feelings of shame, inferiority, and sometimes bring about the onset of depression.
Unresolved guilt can be debilitating if it’s not dealt with, which is the purpose of this article. If you’re experiencing guilt from relinquishing your caregiving duties, you just might need a different perspective. Here are five ways you can combat your guilt.
1. Recognize the Feeling of Guilt
Go ahead and name it if you’re feeling it. Say it: “I’m feeling guilty over taking a step back from caregiving.” Repressing emotions can lead to an eventual outburst or melt-down that won’t help you or anyone around you.
There’s no shame in feeling guilty; we all do from time to time. Recognize that you have the feeling, and start to release it. It’s like air in a balloon, too much, and it eventually pops, and if you want to use the balloon again, you let the air out a little at a time.
2. Be Compassionate With Yourself
You’re human. Tying yourself up in knots is only going to prolong the feelings of guilt you’re experiencing. Your self-talk at this point will have a significant effect on how and what you’re feeling. If you mentally keep shaming yourself over stepping back, you’ll get stuck in a negative loop and possibly a downward spiral.
It’s hard to do, but it will help you immensely if you think about all of the good you’ve done for your loved one as their caregiver. Dwell on the positive instead of the negative.
3. Look For the Cause of the Guilt
Was it exhaustion – p