Being a caregiver for someone struggling with addiction is a noble deed. You get to spend your time putting their needs before yours and uplifting them during their dark times. However, for you to sustain your efforts, you need to care for yourself. Watching someone you love struggle, caring for them and staying positive is no small feat. Taking care of yourself will help you replenish your positive energy and become an effective caregiver. Here are a few ideas you can apply:
Understand that self-care does not make you self-centered
This point came first because many caregivers tend to feel that putting their needs first may come across as selfish. For you to adequately take care of yourself, you need to know that this misconception cannot be further from the truth. For you to have enough energy to care for someone else, you need to care for yourself first.
Exercise is not only important for your body but comes in handy for someone experiencing stress. You do not have to overexert yourself, a walk with a friend or favorite playlist can do you a lot of good. You can also try an indoor routine, like 10-minute yoga or body weight exercises. Moving your body triggers the release of feel-good endorphins and loosens you up.
Take time for a hobby
Now would be a good time to read that novel you’ve been putting off. Doing something you enjoy will lift your spirits and balance out the difficult times with some joy.
Get some rest
While sleep can be elusive while worrying about a sick person, you need to get at least eight hours of sleep a day. Sleep is essential for a healthy mental state and physical well-being. Whenever an opportunity comes along, a nap will replenish your energy and rest your mind.
Do not blame yourself
More often than not, parents, guardians and other family and friends believe that they had a part to play in the addict’s current position. Resist the urge to put yourself at fault; only they are fully responsible for their actions. Blaming yourself will hinder both you and the addict’s well-being and cause unnecessary tension.
Join a support group
There are many online and physical-meetings support groups that you can lean on for help. These groups will offer you counseling and an opportunity for other social interactions. Interacting with other caregivers will give you perspective and reassurance. Being a caregiver can be incredibly lonely, and a little help can make a significant difference.
Avoid enabling behavior
The hardest part about being a caregiver is trying to help them quit their behavior, and the resentment accompanying your efforts. However hard it is, you need to stop giving them money, making excuses for them and protecting them from the consequences of their actions. Watching them struggle is a more welcome fight than watching them slip away.
Recovery, however hard, is possible for addicts. Do not give up hope, and when their behavior becomes too erratic, and they become a danger to themselves and others, an addiction rehabilitation center near you can help them get their life back.