Taking Care Of Yourself To Take Care Of Others

April 18, 2022

Taking Care of yourself to take care of others

Before you can help others, you need to know who you really are.

Knowing yourself is a lifelong journey, and one of self-discovery: exploring your strengths and weaknesses; figuring out your passions, purposes, and desires.

It really isn’t an easy task to know yourself immediately, but it is possible. You’re definitely capable of doing so especially when you have the right people around you like friends or family members that can help you identify your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Oftentimes we are so busy with work that we forget about things that matter most in our lives like our health, relationships with other people and the quality time spent with them. When you know yourself well enough, it will be easier for you to think things through whenever you make a decision as well as take care of others according to their needs because at some point in life we all need to receive advice from someone else who knows us better than we do.

You have to be willing to make mistakes and say no sometimes.

This is a lesson I’ve been learning for some time, but it’s one our culture has a hard time accepting. Taking care of yourself means knowing your limits, accepting them and setting boundaries so that you can say no to certain things.

I think we all have the capacity to take on too much, especially if we’re driven by good intentions and a genuine desire to help others, but without boundaries or limitations in place it can lead to burnout. There are only 24 hours in the day and you physically cannot do everything. You have to be willing to make mistakes and say no sometimes.

However, this is easier said than done in practice because caregivers often feel guilty when they say no or put their own needs first, but it's something that has to happen or else both the caregiver and the person being cared for will suffer over time.

You have to understand and accept your limitations.

When it comes to the things you can do to take care of yourself, knowing your limits is key. It’s important to have a good understanding of what you’re capable of doing and when you need to say “no.” It may be hard at first, but saying “no” is really important if you want to make sure that you don't wear yourself out completely.

Self-care is something everyone should incorporate into their daily lives, but especially so for those who are caregivers. When I was in college, I worked two jobs and had a full course load at school. Although the schedule stressed me out at times and I didn't always get enough sleep, I somehow managed to keep up with it all. Then one day, I found myself sick in bed for almost two weeks; my body had just given up on me! That's when it hit me: my body could only handle so much before it gave up on me entirely! In retrospect, there were many signs that I was pushing myself too far—from nights where I couldn't fall asleep because my mind wouldn't turn off after a long day of classes followed by work, to even feeling multiple sharp pains in my chest during particularly busy days (which turned out just be stress-related). But despite these signs that something wasn't right with how much work I was taking on (and ignoring), only when my body finally said “enough” did I stop and actually accept that maybe running myself ragged wasn't exactly healthy or sustainable.

Give yourself permission to do less.

It is important to give yourself permission to do less. Most caregivers feel like they don’t deserve a break and they should be doing more. They often feel guilty, and are afraid that if they did less, their loved one wouldn’t receive the best possible care.

Instead of trying to do everything perfectly, try saying no to activities that aren’t essential. If you don’t want to go on an outing, you can say “no thank you for inviting me, but my mom (dad) needs me at home today.” You might also consider asking family members or friends for help in providing respite care so that you can take some time off from your demanding role as caregiver.

Take time to process feelings, not just words.

Often, we see emotions as words. We think of them as a description, like “I’m happy because I got an A on my test.” But the truth is, sometimes we can't put our feelings into words. Sometimes we don't understand how we feel or why — and that's totally normal! Sometimes, we have to take time away to figure it out.

When you're trying to figure out your emotions, try separating yourself from the situation for a little while. What does that mean? Well, for one thing: no texting about what happened with friends (at least not right away). Instead, take some alone time without distractions and ask yourself four important questions:

  • Who was there?

  • What happened? (What did I do?)

  • How did it make me feel? (What were my initial thoughts?)

  • Why am I feeling like this after the event took place?

Now is not the time to text or call anyone else involved in what happened; instead, write everything down in a journal and see if you can begin to answer these questions honestly and thoughtfully for yourself. Some people need more help figuring out their emotions than others; if you're having trouble getting started on this exercise alone, it may be helpful to talk with someone you trust who knows what's going on in your life — maybe even a parent or guardian!

Make sure you're saying something for yourself, not for someone else's validation.

If you're working with a therapist, they might ask you to say things out loud in order to start building new, positive patterns of speech. Unfortunately, there are times when a person can say something and not mean it at all. In fact, the opposite may be true for them!

There's an old saying about the tongue: "The tongue is like a flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole body and sets fire to the course of human existence." (James 3:6) The tongue does have immense power to shape our lives and our relationships; keep that in mind before you speak into your own life!

Let's look at some practical ways you can start training your heart and your mouth to work together.

Don't take everything personally.

Your tendency to take things personally can cause you to assume what someone else is thinking and feel hurt, even though you’re not actually the target of their thoughts or actions. It can be hard to separate your own feelings from other people’s actions, but taking steps to do so will help you grow as a person and improve your relationships with others.

Try to see the other person’s point of view. Oftentimes, something that seems like it was said or done specifically against you is actually just part of an ongoing problem in the person’s life that has nothing to do with you at all. Consider if there could be an explanation for their attitude or behavior besides “it was directed at me.” This doesn’t mean that you have to accept mistreatment, but it will help relieve some stress if you realize that maybe they weren’t even thinking about your relationship when they said something upsetting.

For example, imagine a friend tells you how much she loves her new boyfriend and never wants anyone else in her life again—but she says this as she moves her arms out like she's pushing someone away from her body. You might assume this gesture is directed toward you because it makes it seem like she doesn't want anything to do with anyone else—including friends—in the future. However, consider if there could be another reason for her behavior. Maybe she had a bad experience at work earlier in the day and what appears to be a negative reaction could simply be subconscious on her part, an act of frustration rather than malice toward others around her that might have been directed toward a coworker who annoyed her earlier?

Try understanding bigger picture scenarios that could affect someone else's mindset. Besides trying to understand why others act certain ways towards us by putting ourselves in their shoes (or remembering situations where someone behaved similarly), we can also try seeking out possible broader explanations for certain behaviors and attitudes—especially people close to us who

You need a strong sense of self if you're going to help others.

In order to maintain healthy relationships with the people you help, remember to set healthy boundaries. You should know your limits and be able to communicate that with others in a tactful but respectful manner.


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