During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we know your stress level is rising. Following the CDC’s guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – along with social distancing and self-quarantine – is the foundation of doing your part for the greater good. But what if you’re a caregiver, responsible for someone else who cannot do these things on their own or by themselves?
The nature of caregiving can be a lonely experience. Under the best circumstances, it’s still a stressful daily routine. With the coronavirus upending every aspect of life, it’s understandable to feel anxious. The darker emotions – anger, fear, helplessness – can heighten frustrations and make you feel powerless.
You’re human. You have feelings for the people or persons you’re taking care of – and you need to acknowledge emotions.
We’ve seen the news reports of family and friends holding signs, putting their hands on the windows outside homes and care facilities, loved ones separated by glass, and what seems like a thousand miles. Our heads tell us that the precautions are the right things to do. Our hearts break because we want to do so much more for our loved ones.
However, there are ways to stay connected. First, you’re not alone! While we cannot visit our loved ones, we can overcome the impediments. Phone networks are not affected by the coronavirus. Check to see if a volunteer or aide can facilitate a call. Just the sound of a loved one’s voice is uplifting. It’s not perfect, but it creates the connection that we thrive on.
Art is another expression that can be shared. We’re not talking Picasso; no one is judging your skills. But taking the time to draw or paint can help alleviate stress – and you can “talk” through your art. Make it a family event: drawing or painting, popcorn, and a movie. (And who knows, maybe you unearth a hidden talent that carries on after the pandemic ends …)
Adults are having a hard time wrapping their heads around what’s next. The economy will bounce back – and the everyday workers will make it happen. Meanwhile, we’re sheltering in place, and children may be wondering why mom and dad are home, instead of out of the house doing mom and dad things.
We don’t expect children to understand the nuances of a deadly virus or the intricacies of the stock market and the global economy. But they do understand when mom and dad are stressed. Don’t let the unknown morph into tension inside the home. Stress can elevate problems and leave lasting mental scars. If you are on the brink, reach out to a friend and talk. Again, we’re human and need interaction with family and friends.
The uncertainty of the near future is real. But as a caregiver, you have to take care of yourself first. There are financial implications with the current crisis – but there are solutions regardless of job status. If you’re stressed over making ends meet, now may be the time to consider using your life insurance policy for immediate cash to relieve the anxiety.
LifeGuide Partners believes everyday life is where we forge relationships. Today, we’re here to help you manage the uncertainties of tomorrow.