Being a caregiver is a rewarding job, but ask anyone who’s been there and they'll probably tell you that there will be tough times, and those times may last a very long while. The challenges of caregiving are vast and threaten to dampen the spirit of even the strongest people.
Consider these scenarios:
Your feel your patient is giving you a difficult time by being uncooperative, for example, purposefully soiling sheets to annoy you.
The prolonged physical and emotional exhaustion of caring for a fully dependent patient is taking its toll.
You are struggling with challenges in your personal life, so you can barely keep it together at work.
Your coworkers are being rude to you, causing drama, or making you feel alienated at work.
Or, you’re experiencing a combination of these problems. The struggle is real!
In difficult times, it’s hard to focus and find fulfillment in caregiving. You have to keep going, not only because your patients rely on you, but because you're not willing to call it quits the moment it gets tough. Kudos to you for stepping up!
Here are some not-so-easy, but very effective ways to find your motivation:
1. Remind yourself: "This is temporary and will soon pass."
Everything undergoes change and nothing is permanent. Your difficult position will get better in time, just hang in there and keep moving forward. It's true that action starts in the mind, and telling yourself that better and easier times are coming your way can encourage needed hope.
2. Acknowledge the difficult situation and prepare to face it head-on.
The worst way to deal with a loss of motivation is to deny that it’s happening. Our brain is not wired to look for answers and solutions unless we admit there's something wrong. Without recognizing the struggle, you tend to stay in that murky pit for a long time. It's ok to say that you're having a hard time while telling yourself that you'll handle it. Believe in yourself and you’ll get back on your feet again.
3. If you seem to have a hundred reasons to quit, remember a few reasons to stay and hold on to them!
Caregiving is a calling, there’s a lot to learn, your patients depend on you, you need to pay the bills . . . whatever your reasons are in the moment, these will keep you afloat.
4. Read inspirational stories and watch motivational videos.
Social media is teeming with inspiring content, so fill up on those uplifting words and stories to feel good about yourself.
5. Be with people you can rely on and ask for help.
Surround yourself with spirited and motivated people. Friends, colleagues, and even supervisors are willing to lend a hand if you ask. Because they care for you, they likely know how to help.
6. Pamper yourself.
Sometimes you really do need a temporary break from it all. Turn to respite care and find relaxing activities to do. Indulge in whatever makes you feel good. Get a massage or treat yourself to your favorite dessert.
7. Seek professional help.
Loss of motivation, together with a lack of interest in life in general, can be a sign of something more serious, such as depression. If you feel it's more than the temporary blues, consult a professional who can provide the right treatment.
8. Rebuild your dreams and your goals.
Problems at work can make you lose sight of what you want to achieve in life. Are you bent on pursuing a nursing career, perhaps? It’s a worthy cause to keep going.
Caregiving is no easy task, but with these strategies, you'll soon have the motivation to go on and love your job again. Your day-to-day struggle will begin to wane and it will become easier to focus and stay on track!
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