Your search keywords:

Mind Matters | A caregiver’s woes

Mind Matters | A caregiver’s woes

At 25, I didn’t expect life to involve caring for my ill father after my mother’s passing. I wake early to prepare meals, manage medicines, and ensure his comfort before work, straining my income and personal goals. It’s not that I’m tired of caring for him, but I yearn to focus on my career too. I seek balance and reassurance that prioritizing my well-being is acceptable as I care for him. I’m ready to do everything it takes to make sure my mental state doesn’t suffer. I’m determined to navigate this path with courage and compassion, knowing that my well-being and personal growth are intertwined with my caregiving duties. But how do I start?

Answered by Kapil Sharma, counseling psychologist, Nepal Institute of Mental Health

I want to acknowledge your strength and dedication, which have contributed significantly to your father’s improvement. It’s commendable that you’re balancing caregiving responsibilities and your own needs and aspirations during this challenging time.

Your awareness of the importance of self-care and seeking reassurance indicates that you need a social support system and open communication. Speaking openly about your feelings, particularly with your father, can foster understanding and cooperation, ultimately benefiting both of you.

It’s crucial to set realistic expectations for yourself. Be gentle, and break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable ones. Establish clear boundaries between your caregiving responsibilities and personal life, perhaps by designating specific hours for caregiving and other time for your goals and needs.

Prioritizing self-care is essential. Acknowledge your efforts and strengths, practice self-care without guilt, and recognize what you gain from self-care activities rather than focusing on what you’re missing. Practicing mindfulness and journaling can also be beneficial.

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek support from family, friends, or professional counseling. Sharing experiences with others and prioritizing your well-being are crucial. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a step towards a stronger journey.

At 25, taking on significant responsibilities is a great achievement, but it’s okay to seek external support to balance both. You’re doing a fantastic job, but it’s essential to take care of yourself to provide effective caregiving and maintain personal strength at the same time.