Regardless if you become a caregiver voluntarily or by default, the job may take a toll on you emotionally. Jealousy is one of the most common emotions family caregivers experience, especially when they have peers who aren’t in a similar situation. Here are some tips you can use to manage jealousy.
1. Discover the Real Issue
If you become jealous of your peers, you must get to the root of the issue. You might be jealous because they get to live a life that doesn’t include caregiving. You might also be masking feelings of fear, doubt, and resentment. When you discover the real reason behind your jealousy, you can begin working on the issue. Admitting your true feelings, even jealousy, can help you find productive ways to manage them.
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2. Praise Yourself
There will be times your hard work goes unnoticed. As a result, you may feel undervalued and unappreciated. When you don’t receive enough praise, you may begin to resent others around you. However, you can manage this jealousy and animosity by accepting your best and applauding your efforts. Treat yourself to dinner, or reward yourself with a trip to the spa. Giving yourself praise could make you feel happier.
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3. Work on Personal Goals
Being a family caregiver could mean giving up a lot of your free time. You may have to put some of your personal goals on hold until you have developed a schedule that works well for your entire family. While your goals are on hold, you might become jealous of friends who are receiving promotions at work, opening up businesses, or achieving other goals. To prevent jealousy, make it a priority to get more help with your caregiving duties so you can continue working on your personal goals. Achieving these goals can boost your confidence and give you a sense of purpose.
4. Speak with a Mentor
Having someone to talk to openly and honestly about feelings of jealousy can help family caregivers manage those feelings better. You don’t have to hide the negative thoughts you have about peers who get to live a life outside of caregiving. Your mentor won’t judge you based on these negative emotions. Instead, he or she can be your guide and give you tips to manage anger, resentment, and jealousy going forward.
5. Take Time Off
The more you take on, the less time you have to rest and recharge. When your body is exhausted, feelings of jealousy can sneak in. However, taking regular breaks and extended time off is a great way to regroup, recharge, and see things clearer. You can take time off to socialize with others or go on a much-needed vacation. The more breaks you take, the more time you have to live your life and do things you enjoy instead of being jealous of others.
6. Offer Kind Gestures
Complimenting your peers when they have done something good may make you feel positive instead of jealous. The happier you are, the easier it will be to manage negative emotions like jealousy. You can praise your coworkers, family members, and friends when you see them doing well by sending flowers, writing a congratulatory note, or by making other kind gestures.
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