Guilt is a familiar feeling for many caregivers. For carers who work, they can feel guilt from having to spend time away from those who they care for. Carers may also feel guilt that they may not be doing enough or should be doing better in their caring role. Although these feelings may arise, it doesn’t mean the feelings are true. It is important to go easy on yourself and remember your worth and all that you selflessly do.

Many carers feel guilt, but it’s essential to remember that this is common and that you don’t have to feel this way. Here are some important steps in how to deal with the feeling of guilt and to feel good in your caring role:

Supporting yourself:

It is important to care for yourself, like you do with the individual you care for. Show yourself some kindness by doing something that will uplift you, this can be as simple as watching a nice film, listening to some music, or taking yourself on a walk.

In supporting yourself, it is important to remember to not push your feelings away, this will help you manage your feelings and not get overwhelmed with guilt.

Help from others:

You can work through your feelings by talking to a close friend or family member. They may also offer to assist you in your caring position, alleviating some of the stress you carry, or simply listen and allow you to express your worries in a safe space.

There are several online discussion forums such as The Carers UK forum, where you can talk to carers who are experiencing similar feelings, helping you remember that you are not alone in your journey.

By talking to your local GP, they can offer you support through counselling service referrals, or information on local support groups. These support services can provide you with guidance to reduce feelings of guilt or feeling overburdened.

Reframing your mindset:

Reminding yourself of all that you do for the loved one you care for can help reframe your mindset and reduce potential feelings of guilt when you do need a break.

It is also important to recognise that the individual you care for may also feel guilty. They may recognise the pressures being cared for puts on you. Remembering this helps realise you are not alone in feelings of guilt and helps reframe your mindset.

By Tabitha Desmond

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.