Caring for a family member is frequently an all-consuming role. It requires so much of your energy, time, and focus that when you no longer need to provide care, for any reason, it may leave you feeling lost. Other common feelings to expect if you’re no longer serving as caregiver for a loved one include:
- And so many others
Rediscover Life After the Caregiving Journey
It is best to allow yourself some transitional time to rediscover what it’s like to live a life that doesn’t include putting someone else’s needs first. Take time for reflection on your caregiving experience. How did it change you? What did you learn?
It is also common to feel some degree of guilt once your caregiving role ends. You may feel as if there were things you should have done differently or could have done better. The “what ifs” are quite common, and it can be easy to get caught up in feelings of regret. It’s 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, perceived or real, by knowing that you are human and that you did your very best. Extend the same grace to yourself that you would extend to someone else.
After you’ve processed the complex emotions surrounding this transitional time, think through the following:
- What relationships have had to take a back seat while you were providing care? What steps can you take to rebuild them?
- What hobbies, activities, and passions do you want to pursue?
- Are there volunteer opportunities that interest you?
- How do you want to structure your days now that you have extra time available?
It’s best to establish small goals that can be easily reached, rather than biting off more than you may be able to chew. For example, you may decide to reach out to one trusted friend and see if they’d want to meet for a regular lunch or coffee date. Take sufficient time for self-care to nurture both your mind and body, and gradually add on more activities as you feel prepared to take them on.
Talk to Serenity Home Care
If you find that you miss providing care for others, the dedicated care team at Serenity Home Care would love to talk to you about an opportunity to make use of your compassion and skills to brighten life for another person in need. Your experience as a family caregiver makes you a fantastic fit for a professional caregiving role, and we will equip you with full training and all the support you will need to make a difference in someone else’s life.