As a family caregiver, you probably hold yourself to a very high standard. You expect yourself to react with kindness and patience at all times, no matter how unpleasant or inconvenient the task. Compassionate caring is a high ideal for family caregivers.
But some days are admittedly better than others. And then comes the self-criticism and guilt!
Here's an idea, though: Why not treat yourself the way you would treat a friend? Research shows that people who treat their own distress with concern instead of judgment are physically healthier. They are also emotionally better able to deal with life's inevitable setbacks. They stay motivated even when things are rough. For example, people who treat themselves with compassion
- cope with failure more productively. Rather than get upset, they consider the lessons learned.
- remain positive and motivated. They are less subject to fear, negativity, anxiety, and depression.
- take better care of personal health. They eat better, exercise more, and see the doctor regularly.