When you first began acting as a caregiver, you may have sensed that you had a purpose; maybe you felt like you were on a mission or special assignment. But, as days turn into months, that sense of purpose can be lost. Or perhaps, you’re just starting out in your role as a family caregiver, and you’re not confident you can fulfill that responsibility.
In this article, we’re going to focus on purpose: what it is, what it does, and how to find it. Our hope is that it will help you as a family caregiver either re-claim, or discover for the first time, what your purpose is.
There are many definitions of what purpose is. Some have put it simply as the reason you get up in the morning. But shouldn’t your purpose in life be more than that? Shouldn’t it be something that:
- Guides your life decisions
- Influences your behavior
- Shapes your goals
- Offers you a sense of direction
- Creates meaning
Purpose gives you energy, optimism, and motivation to live your life to the fullest and to fulfill your roles in life to the best of your ability.
Sometimes the time commitment and demands of caregiving, physically – emotionally – mentally, can rob us of our purpose we once had, like feeling successful in our career, advancing professionally, having a certain amount of money or a big home, or having an active social life with lots of fun with your friends. Perhaps one or more of these gave you purpose, but it may feel like that was a long, long time ago.
What Does Purpose Do For a Family Caregiver?
Having a purpose in life, and as a caregiver, moves you forward when you feel like you can’t take another step. It’s a feeling that you’re not always conscious of, but it’s there motivating you to get done what needs to be done. Of course, you might not always get everything done with all of your responsibilities as a family caregiver, but purpose will help you prioritize and accomplish what matters.
Why Do We Lose Purpose?
We lose purpose as a caregiver primarily because of fatigue: physical, mental, and emotional. Think back to your first job and how excited you were to be a contributing adult – and getting paid for it. That’s purpose!
Then think back to how you felt about your job after six months of doing it. It no longer felt like an opportunity with purpose; it was probably now feeling like just a job that had to be done. You were “tired” of everything associated with your work, and it probably didn’t take you a long time to move on to your next chance at working with purpose.
A friend telling you they’ve lost their purpose probably has a sad or forlorn look in their eyes. A loss of purpose takes the twinkle out of a person’s eyes and dims their smile.
How Can We Find It or Rediscover It?
There are a number of ways that you can regain your sense of purpose:
- Read something inspirational
- Take a long weekend and do a lot of journaling
- Talk with family and friends about how you’re feeling
- Remember the special moments you’ve shared with a loved one as their caregiver
Need Help as a Family Caregiver? Let AmeriCare Plus Help
We can step in with our respite care services while you re-charge your batteries and rediscover your sense of purpose. We’ll work with you to give you a well-deserved break on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. Give us a call today at (844) 407-CARE. We’re available, we’re affordable, and our caregivers are compassionate and nurturing.