How do I really build in self care strategies on a daily basis?
That is the ultimate question for caregivers and human service providers. I met with a group who work in a day program with adults with dementia. One of the staff said she had very good self care tools and strategies because she had watched her own mother, a nurse, work so hard for many years and didn't take care of herself. I believe we can be better examples for our children and our younger co-workers and for all service agencies. It is not wrong to put yourself first so you can better serve others.
Iylana Vanzant, an author and speaker, says when her cup runneth over, others can have what is running over, but what is in her cup is for her and any of that taken by others makes them a thief! I will try to find the video where she says that, but it really spoke to me. I believe each of us needs to be filled, and fulfilled before we can best give what we have to offer others.
Raising our own awareness about the need for better self care is the place to start. Finding the times and activities that drain us next and implementing small, consistent changes is after that.
It is always a good time to learn about self care strategies. There are so many books, websites and other resources to review. There are also community workshops at public health office, local hospitals, regional mental health facilities and colleges. Even if you attend a session about a topic you are interested in, such as bird watching or pottery, that is pursuing self care information. There are also other ways to request more support from your loved ones. I always choose one night a week not to cook. Okay that is way more often now that my boys are away to school, but the point is, if you are in charge of meal planning, or laundry or garbage detail, tell others you will be taking a scheduled evening off. I have what I refer to as my non-negotiables. Maybe you could choose a morning you will not be making lunches. Maybe that morning you could sleep in, have a leisurely coffee on the deck, or go out for breakfast. You will be surprised how others will help you when the communication is clear and you make it important for you. When we do this, we will also send the message to others to do the same, so we teach our children and other loved ones the importance of self care.
Let me know what you might try and how it works.