Home is All About Heart, Especially for Older Adults
5 Tips for Keeping Your Brain Healthy While Caregiving

Loving Yourself: A Caregiver’s Ultimate Challenge

Caregiver_pexels-kindel-media-8172897 We've all heard that we must first learn to love ourselves before we can love others. Yet, many of us have grown up with family members who were hard on us or taught us that self-love is selfish or arrogant, which couldn’t be further from the truth. 

What Is Self-Love? Louise Hay, a founder of the self-help movement and author of several New Thought motivational books, defines self-love as a deep, unconditional acceptance and appreciation for all parts of who we are. Self-love is the culmination of building awareness of ourselves, nurturing our minds and bodies, and acknowledging that we are good and valuable both inherently and because of the things we have accomplished. 

How Caregiving Affects Our Sense of Self: Family members who are caring for aging loved ones often “lose themselves” in the process. Many experience caregiver guilt and endure a great deal of stress that radically changes their self-concept and worldview. We know that people make mistakes, but, as family caregivers, we seem to expect a degree of perfection from ourselves that simply isn’t possible. This unrealistic view can leave us feeling consistently defeated. Over the long term, this mindset damages one’s concept of self-worth and leads to a spiral of negative thinking. While there is no magical roadmap to help us navigate all the trials 

Continue reading on Agingcare for tips about how caregivers can forgive themselves for being human and learn to love themselves more for the wonderful people they are:

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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