Caring for the Care Giver
Nurture Yourself Before Others
It is common for adults, particularly women, to be caretakers. They make sure that their loved ones are okay but often forget about themselves. I've been guilty of this myself and it's not until I notice my health declining or some other issue manifesting that I remember to take care of myself. I'm becoming better at putting myself first so that I can turn around and support the people I love. Here are some tips to make sure that you take care of yourself first as well:
* Assign yourself the task of taking a half hour break for yourself every day. During that time do something that you love. Read your favorite book or watch your favorite show. Even better, take a walk to clear your mind and refresh your senses. Indulging in something that you love for a short time every day can be rejuvenating.
* Find new hobby. Last year I taught myself how to crochet. It wasn't easy since I'm left-handed but because of so many resources on the web it was not as challenging as I thought it would be. Not only do I feel a sense of accomplishment for teaching myself a new hobby, the repetitive motion of crochet relaxes me. This doesn't mean that you should crochet as well. But developing a new hobby can be a kind of discovery that you might just find valuable.
* Spend time alone in nature. You can go walking" take a hike, stroll on the beach or do some other kind of outdoor activity. When I'm in nature, it has a centering, grounding affect on me. Particularly the ocean does this for me. Find in nature what soothes your soul and make sure you spend some time by yourself in that situation when you can.
* Often times we stop taking care of ourselves when we get overwhelmed with all that we have to do. You can prevent this from happening by getting the mental clutter of your to-do list out of your head. I'm not advocating writing a to-do list every day; rather what I endorse is creating a list of priorities. You have to be careful that your list won't overwhelm you. Write down the top three or five most pressing things you have to do in the order they need to be done and then tackle them.
* Be sure to set your life goals--both short-term and long-term. Keep them somewhere where you can read them once in a while so you don't forget those goals that you're slowly working toward. Setting goals fills one with purpose.
* Whether you meditate, pray, or do something else, take some time to reflect on your life. Not only where you've been but also where you're going and whether that direction aligns with your personal goals and values. If you're able to do this on a regular basis, you'll find it's much easier to nurture yourself and not get caught up in taking care of everyone else.
Taking care of yourself is not a selfish thing to do. When you administer some self-care, you are able to take care of your loved ones better. Keep this in mind as you take what you need to from the above list to nurture yourself.