We are communicating every day when at work, ordering a coffee or chatting with friends. In most conversations, we don’t bring up how we’re feeling. However, as caregivers, stress and anxiety can easily build up, so it’s important to be open about your feelings with your family to help reduce or prevent burnout. Increased communication can also help bring your family closer together. We’ve outlined why and how to communicate your feelings with your family below.
Why Should You Talk about your Feelings with Your Family?
As a caregiver, if you experience stress, anxiety or other emotions, it is essential to open up to your family. By creating a communication channel, you will be able to:
- Have someone genuinely listen to your feelings, concerns, stresses, anxiety or anything else you feel comfortable sharing.
- Gain a different perspective that might help you all find new solutions.
- Talk about issues, find empathy and be reassured that there are others who care about you.
Be reminded that you are not alone.
You can open the lines of communication by having a quick phone call, grabbing a cup of coffee or sitting down in person.
Why People Often Don’t Share Their Feelings
As we suggest above, there are many positive benefits of sharing your feelings with your family. Despite the benefits, many of us still find ourselves holding back. Some of the common reasons you may hold your thoughts and feelings back are:
- You think others already know how you feel and should ask or check-in on you.
- You are afraid of how the other person might respond.
- You assume that your family members are too busy to listen or help.
When you do share, however, your family members are often glad you did and indeed, feel privileged that you turned to them.
What is the Best Way to Share Your Feelings?
Remember that talking about your feelings is a sign of strength and openness. Because opening up can be a challenge, make sure you find a time and place that is comfortable for you and keep the following in mind:
- Try writing down your thoughts and let your notes help guide your conversation.
- It’s okay to start without any preparation too. Sometimes we just need to talk and have someone listen.
- Feeling nervous is normal because, to some extent, we all worry about how others will view us.
Remember, talking about what you’re going through is important for everyone involved. It’s time for you to start sharing!