When Caregiving takes more from you than you can give, is it okay to be Selfish?
Self Care must be a priority in Care Giving!
There is a very important safety announcement heard before each flight departure. It’s actually an important life lesson. “… in case of a unscheduled landing, oxygen masks will release from the ceiling. Please place the oxygen mask on your face before placing it on a child, or on an infirmed or elderly person.”
Logically we know the reason why we should do this. However, our internal voice … our sense of duty for caring … speaks to us and tells us to take care of others first, especially those less able than ourselves. Our thoughts of‘what is right or wrong’ and ‘judging and being judged’ can and often diminishes our reasoning. How about those times that we just stop thinking and become automatic in reacting to what ever crisis is at the top of the pile in the moment? What happens to the caregivers?
Caregivers expend energy constantly. They give energy to those in great need and those usually without their own positive energy. A caregiver’s energy is only replaced when they institute self care. They need to take responsibility for their own well-being and monitor their energy reservoir. Caregivers are unable to function at their best, or possibly in any productive manner, if they aren’t cognizant of the right to care for themselves first and foremost.
There will always be situations that reflect how we operate in the world and glimpses of who we aspire to become.
It’s healthy to want to be more in the world and in our life. We may want to be more expressive, more compassionate, to be more skillful at diffusing emotions, more calm in presenting a point of view or (easier said than done) more balanced and grounded while we face and accompany those in crisis. We may want to experience being more powerful and productive in our personal and professional life.
When we own our choice to be more… opportunities are present to develop and practice an array of personal and professional tools. Tools assist us on our path. Tools change a life journey from “out of control” to deliberate and creative. Tools of self care empower us so that we can achieve being more – being more of the person that we desire to be in all situations.
Every day we have occasions to expand our capabilities and live up to our potential.
The moment we allow our unfocused or negative thoughts to take charge of our actions, we lose our free will to interact in the world as “who we want to be” and we fall victim to “what the world around us dictates”.
Institute self care tools and reinforce your positive thoughts. Validate and honor your good feelings. Let go of self-judgment and have certainty that you are doing your best. Nurture a sense of calm and self-confidence. Build energies and allow mind and feelings to be connected to the person that you want to be in the world.
Perfect your self care personal and professional tools; put your health and well being first and be who you are meant to be.