One of the best things that you can do for yourself as a caregiver is to keep a journal. Your journal might have a variety of different elements to it, depending on what you want to track and what you want to know or even remember about your time as a caregiver.
Journaling Gives You a Chance to Vent
During your regular caregiving duties, you might not find much opportunity to vent your feelings. It’s important to be able to release those feelings in a safe way so that they’re not bottled up inside you rattling around. You’re likely to feel a wide range of emotions while you’re a caregiver and some of them might make you feel uncomfortable.
You Can Track Your Health Concerns
Your own health is important, too. Your journal can be a place in which you keep track of what your health goals are and how you’re progressing with those goals. When you focus on something and then put energy into tracking it, you’re going to make better progress.
You Can Spot Areas Where You Need to Be More Attentive
Some caregivers use their journals as a way to track and to log what happens each day. Doing this can help you see areas where you’re not paying as much attention to something as you feel you should be. You can keep up with when you last did certain things, too.
You See Patterns that Keep Repeating
It’s not always easy to see patterns while they’re playing out. You might not realize that you cancel respite time for yourself as often as you do, for instance. But in a journal, those patterns become a little more obvious and that allows you to look for the reasons behind some of the things that keep happening.
You Can Have that Last Word
Some caregiving relationships are a little less friendly than you want them to be. It’s possible that you and your senior always had a tough relationship and that’s not going to change now. In your journal you can say some of the things, you might have wanted to say before and you don’t have to worry that your senior will tell you that you’re wrong.
Self-discovery is always valuable, no matter what you’re doing. As a caregiver, keeping a journal can deepen your understanding of why you’ve chosen to be a caregiver and what you need in order to be the caregiver that you want to be.