As caregivers, we have devoted an enormous amount of support to our loved ones with cancer. Only after months, or even years, that we will realize the need for caregiving is over. I realize that it takes some time for me to adjust back to normal life after the dust had settled. In the process have ignored my own routines and abandoned some of my friends and relatives.
When the time comes, we need to start forgetting all about cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, follow-ups and much more. It certainly felt difficult to get back to my previous self or life that I used to enjoy.
So, if you feel the same way as I did, here are some of the ways I managed to deal with it:
- Re-establish relationships – get back in touch with relatives, friends, or coworkers whose company you enjoy.
- Starts thinking about returning to work. You will be busy with new things, meeting new friends and learning new knowledge.
- Being a caregiver can sometimes lead to unhealthy habits (poor diet, alcohol abuse, lack of exercise). Let go of these bad habits and make time for getting help.
- Join a support group. This is a place for you to share your experiences and learn from others who experienced these unique challenges. Simply attend and talk with others, it will make you feel better.
Restart or resume your hobbies. Since now that you have some free time, start doing the activity that you love. If you can find a hobby that allows you to meet new friends, then it is a bonus.
- Consider getting help. Counseling from a trained professional can help reduce stress, improve coping and your overall quality of life.