Sometimes caregivers are their own worst enemy in the Department of Homeland Insecurity. The things we tell ourselves or expect of ourselves are often the most demanding and stress-inducing of all.
Review the following list of ways you can cut yourself some slack -- and revisit it whenever you feel an "I ought to . . . " or "I should have . . . " nipping around the edges of your guilt and sanity:
I'll apologize when I lose my temper, but I realize that caregiving is so chock-full of temperature-riling situations that eternal calm is impossible.
I'll be there for my loved one, but I'll continue to run my own life at the same time.
I'll let myself grieve and cry and feel sad, instead of trying to keep a chipper smile on my face all the time.
I'll accept or ignore criticism for what it's worth (or not worth) rather than letting it eat at me.
I'll quit blaming myself when bad things happen. Bad things happen.
I resolve to take care of me, not just my loved one. Because eventually I may be the one who needs care, and better it be later than sooner.