During your caregiving journey, you might find that you’ve limited yourself socially. That’s something that you’ll want to correct as soon as possible because isolation is not emotionally healthy for you or for your elderly family member.
Take the Time to Reconnect with Yourself, First
Being a caregiver can mean that you disconnect a bit from yourself and from what you want out of life. This is a sacrifice that you make willingly because you want to help your elderly family member. But what this does is keep you locked into only performing certain activities and encountering certain people as those situations crop up on your caregiving journey. Take the time to reconnect with who you are outside of caregiving.
Look for Other Ways to Be of Service
You might think it’s silly for a caregiver to be looking for even more ways to be of service to others, but it isn’t. You’ve spent an awful lot of time helping one person with their health issues, to the detriment of yourself and your own life. By stepping out of your existing caregiving role, you can find that helping other people or animals allows you to tap back into who you still are.
Reconnect with Friends You’ve Lost Touch With
Go through your address book or the contact list in your phone. Who haven’t you talked with in a while? Try initiating a conversation with that person. They may be busy or otherwise unable to talk, but that’s okay. You’re practicing reaching out and reconnecting and that is the important part.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
As you progress through this journey of rediscovery, you might find yourself ready to step outside of what is comfortable for you. That might mean joining a support group so that you meet other caregivers or that you take a class or join an organization of some type in order to meet people who share your interests. Take some time to figure out what you want to try and then go for it.
This process can take time, particularly if you’ve isolated yourself as a caregiver for a long time. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to adjust at each stage.