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Facing guilt and anxiety


Conflicting emotions

Of course planning a break is not only a practical consideration. There can be a whole host of emotions that come into play, sometimes arousing conflicting feelings around whether it's really worth the perceived emotional upheaval of going away or taking some time out.

An overriding sense of guilt and anxiety can put you off setting aside that necessary time for yourself. You wonder if the person you care for will be well looked after in your absence or whether they might feel left behind or neglected?

Dealing with these feelings

The carers in our film all highlight how natural and normal these feelings are. As Mary says, "You should talk to the person you care for because sometimes your worst fears might not be realised." They may welcome the break too. Jean, who is cared for by her husband, Geoff, also acknowledges the importance of the carer keeping well. And as David points out, bear in mind you'll come back stronger and better able to carry on with the demands of caring. 

If you need to spend some time apart from the person you care for, could you reach out to friends or family members for support too? Your health and wellbeing is just as important as the person you care for and even if you don't have obvious physical symptoms, feelings of stress or exhaustion can quickly creep up on you. For more guidance on looking after yourself, see our health section.

In the quest to prevent burn out, understandably you might feel overwhelmed by all the options available. Perhaps our next video could shed some light on these: Where do I start? 

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