Being a caregiver to an ill or elderly family member is a difficult job. Caregivers often face stress, anxiety, and worry, not to mention the physical demands that come with caring for someone.
In order to be a good caregiver, you must take good care of yourself from an emotional, physical and spiritual standpoint.
If you are acting as a caregiver to a family member, friend, or patient, the first thing you should remember to do is check in with yourself on a daily basis. Consider how you are feeling spiritually. How do you feel physically? If you’re feeling exhausted, stressed, or anxious, make a plan on how you can alleviate that. Consider taking a long walk through God’s creation, preforming an exercise that you enjoy, or catching up with a close friend.
If you’re feeling mentally and emotionally spent, seek spiritual refuge. Consider joining a support group. Spend some time journaling and talking with God or read through His word. You are human and you’re doing the best that you can. God will care for you as you care for others, have faith.
If you are a family member or a friend of a caregiver, you should make it your mission to care for the caregiver whenever you can. One huge form of support that you can offer is to simply listen to the caregiver. They will often feel alienated because they invest the majority of their time caring for someone else. Consider offering to help them in other aspects of their life such as driving their children to a soccer practice or providing a meal for their family. The smallest of things will make a big difference to someone who has little personal time.
As a caregiver, it is important that you are open and honest with the people around you regarding your feelings. Make sure to check-in with others from a spiritual, emotional and physical standpoint. Although it is important to lean on your friends and family, put your faith in God. He will provide you with the strength that you need, time and time again.
Here’s an inspiring verse that many caregivers can relate to: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.…It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23–24