Most of us who are family caregivers know that when we feel exhausted, grouchy, or sick, then we really cannot care well for our family members. Only when we take good care of ourselves can we truly care well for them. Imagine asking someone to use a broken wheelchair or learn in a schoolroom with no books. When we do not take good care of ourselves, we are offering our family members a broken inadequate caregiver.
Below are two self-care reflections. The first reflection encourages us to think of all the ways we can care for ourselves. The second suggests a simple way to put our self-care into action. Both reflections are adapted from my book, Self-Care Reflections.
One common way to think of our "selves" is to divide the self into four "parts" - the physical (our bodies), the mental (our minds), the emotional (our feelings), and the spiritual (our souls). To care for ourselves well, we need to care for all four parts of ourselves - our bodies, our minds, our feelings, and our souls.
Caring for All the Parts of Ourselves
Physically - how we move our bodies, eat, and drink
Mentally - how we think and learn
Emotionally - how we acknowledge and share our feelings
Spiritually – what we believe and how we live our beliefs
What are ways that you care for the parts of yourself?
Implementing Self-Care Ideas
How can we implement self-care ideas? We may have great ideas and wonderful intentions, but we may be unsure of how to make our ideas become reality. It may seem too difficult to do these things.
If someone else asked for our help, we would probably do our best to help them. We can find a way to help ourselves, too.
To take care of ourselves, we can ask the same kinds of questions we may ask about another person who needs help: What do they (I) need? How can I help them (myself) get their (my) needs met?
With practice, we can learn to implement really big and everyday small self-care ideas. Just like we don't give up on others, let's stick with it for us!
How will you implement your self-care ideas?
The mission of Self-Care Reminders is to encourage caring professionals and family caregivers to care for ourselves, so we can better care for others (and we'll be happier, too). Contact Vicki to purchase the book Self-Care Reflections, a set of Self-Care Option Cards, or to schedule a “Filling up Our Wells” workshop.