“Taking care of yourself doesn't mean me first, it means me too.” L.R. Knost In the last post, we discussed the importance of caregivers taking care of themselves. We now continue with Next Avenue's steps toward self-care below.
5. Listen to Yourself
Learn to trust yourself by learning to listen to yourself. This is all about self-support. Your plan for better self-care might not be popular with everyone and there will be naysayers. These backseat-caregivers will insist that they would have handled things better, or that you should be able to manage everything on your own, or --worst of all-- that your new commitment to taking care of yourself is just selfishness. Ignore them and listen to that voice in the back of your mind that reinforces your decisions. You know what is best for you.
6. Find or Create Self-Care Opportunities in All Your Relationships
Caregivers might find it difficult to turn their helpfulness "off." Are your other, non-caregiving relationships unbalanced? Now is an excellent time to take stock of how others treat you. Apply the lessons you learned in balancing caregiving duties to your personal and professional relationships.
7. Appreciate Yourself for Doing an Excellent Job
Any improvement is still improvement. You won't change overnight, so don't be hard on yourself if you feel you've only made minimal progress. Embracing the mindset that you deserve to have your needs met is an exceptionally difficult task. Some find it helpful to consult with a therapist or find additional support. Any steps you take toward taking care of yourself are steps in the right direction!
You are kind and compassionate to those who depend upon you: you should be kind and compassionate to yourself. By adequately caring for your own needs, you are better able to care for others. This plan from Next Avenue will start you on your path to self-care.
For more information, read Next Avenue here