Why it’s normal to feel this way – and how to handle overwhelming emotions…
Not all heroes wear capes. Caring for someone else is one of the hardest jobs on the planet – the hours are long, often difficult, and it can take a toll on your mental health. This Carers Week (June 7-13) we want to offer young carers as much support as we possibly can. We want you to know that it’s OK to feel tired, bitter, and even angry. You’re doing an amazing job, but even the strongest of us need support every now and again.
It’s perfectly normal to feel bitter about being a carer. Many people feel this way, from time to time, and then feel guilty for having those thoughts. You are, in a way, dealing with loss – a loss of a life that could’ve been. You may also have been self-isolating to shield your loved one over the past year, leaving you cut off from friends and feeling resentful. Caring can be incredibly frustrating for all kinds of reasons and it’s OK to not be OK. That doesn’t make you a bad person.
Why not try…
Talking over your feelings with someone you trust. Be completely honest about how you’re feeling and remember – it’s normal to feel resentful in this situation. You could also try joining an online forum to discuss your feelings with like-minded people. It can help to know that you’re not alone in feeling this way. Try the Carers UK forum to get started.
It can be very difficult to find time for family and friends when you’re busy caring for someone. This can lead to you feeling cut off from the world. Your life may be going in a different direction from that of your friends, which can make you feel even more isolated. Loneliness can lead to depression so it’s important you make time for connecting with other people.
Why not try…
Making time every week to do something nice with a friend. If you can’t get out and about, why not give them a ring or FaceTime for a chat? Sometimes it can be difficult to reach out if you’ve been lonely for some time or if you feel as if you have no friends to talk to. You could try joining an online community or a class or group to make new connections. Click here for more ideas on making friends.
It’s common to feel stressed and worried for all kinds of reasons. You may be worried about the person you care for, their health, or be stressed about money issues. It can be difficult to switch off from stress and give yourself a break, making it harder and harder to cope. Click here to spot the signs of stress.
Why not try…
Giving yourself a moment of calm. Try to relax your breathing and give yourself space and time to reset. Anxiety apps can be very helpful for panic attacks or moments of intense stress – discover our top five picks here.
If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, please don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to your GP, a family member, friend, or a health professional for help.
For more information and support: Call Carers UK on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org