What No One Really Tells You About Caregiving


What No One Really Tells You About Caregiving

This article, which originally appeared on Happy Healthy Caregiver, offers tips on managing caregiving overwhelm. Used with permission.

For many family caregivers, the future is just too uncertain. Questions with no specific answers and abundant worries race through our heads. Questions like:

  • Will we have enough money to take care of our loved ones?
  • Will I have enough energy to make it through the day?
  • Will my loved one remember who I am?
  • Why has all of this responsibility been given to me?
  • How long will the demands of caregiving last?
  • What will people think of me if I don’t visit today?

All of these questions trigger other questions and we can find ourselves stressed out and overwhelmed over all these uncertainties.

A Practical Way to Let Go of Overwhelm

Ultimately, we know deep down many of the answers to the above questions are in God’s hands.

One practical way to dull these daunting feelings that cause stress, anxiety, and overwhelm is to take one day at a time. This practice of taking each day as it comes is so effective that is adopted as a mantra for most addiction support groups. Facing the vast future with all its uncertainties is crazy overwhelming, but facing 24 hours at a time is a more doable way to navigate life. Each day has a natural beginning with a sunrise and a natural end with a sunset. No matter what crazy overwhelming feelings the day may bring, the sun will definitely come out tomorrow.

A Prayer that Brings Peace

One short prayer that I have memorized and found a great deal of comfort in is the ‘Serenity Prayer’--especially on those desperate days when overwhelm is at its peak and all hope seems lost.

Serenity prayer

Take Action

I feel like the practice of taking one day at a time along with the Serenity Prayer is a powerful duo, so I created them as gifts for you. I want to encourage you to print out these daily reminders and post them somewhere where you can see them everyday. Perhaps hang them in your walk-in closet, your bathroom mirror, or your refrigerator. Click here for your personal printable poster for ‘One Day at a Time’ and click here for your copy of ‘The Serenity Prayer’.

Read the reminders aloud to yourself each day and commit to catching yourself when you find your thoughts either spiraling about the future unknowns or stressing over things that are truly outside your control. Commit to being present in this day and enjoying the little things it has to offer. Practice this repeatedly and I believe you’ll create a powerful daily habit which allows you to be better equipped to handle what the future may bring.

Serenity prayer

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