But What About To Ourselves?
When we are looking after someone we love, be it an illness, a disease, taking care of elderly parents, or even just caring for our families as the children grow, we go out of our way to make sure they are looked after with all the love in our hearts. We tire but keep on going and never give up. Sometimes we may not even call in for help, from family, friends, or outsiders, even though we ourselves are getting ill. We develop a sense of duty to care for them. We cannot just leave them to fend for themselves.
Someone must look after them and we are the best person, right?
Well, that may be true, but what about the sense of duty to ourselves. What about looking after our own needs and what our bodies are telling us we must pay attention too. Why do we just keep pushing through the pain, deteriorating our bodies as we tend to those we love. The groceries need to be done, the children need help with homework, those that are not well or elderly, need your attention, and let’s face it, right now, things are even crazier than before.
If you were to turn the tables around and think of what your loved ones would say to you about looking after your own self, do you think they would feel it wise to run yourself ragged? Not eating right, not sleeping enough, until you yourself are so ill you cannot look after them. Or worse, you are not even on this earth anymore, because you have allowed disease to enter your world.
So, you wake up one day and notice that your hair is thinning and that side pain, or leg pain is getting worse. You chalk it all up to stress even though you know your body is telling you to pay attention and there may be more to it. But there is no time to head to the doctor’s because there is just so much to do, so much to take care of and those people are depending on you being there now.
Yes, you are right, they are depending on you to stay healthy, so that they can enjoy you as much as you enjoy them. Don’t discount the amount of attention your own body needs as you navigate this world. Remember that we too need time to let our bodies rest and regenerate otherwise, we will be the ones that need looking after soon. Our brain is working so hard all the time. Give it some downtime too. Take a walk, in nature or meditate if it is something you enjoy. Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and just stay quiet for a little while, enjoying YOU.
If your days are so hectic then think of delegating your chores or take a day off for a mental break. Just remember not to go crazy the next day as you try to catch up. There are always things you can put off for a day or two to lesson your busy schedule.
Take a moment now to look in the mirror at yourself. Are there tired signs on your face? Are you resting when you know you should? Are you eating foods you should not be eating that add to that fatigue? I know for myself; sugar puts me to sleep, and I try to stay away from high levels of it as much as I can. I know there are foods that do not agree with me, so I stay away from those too because they may add to my symptoms of not feeling well which over time can take a toll on my body. It is not always easy to do, I know, because chocolate will always be my weakness, but cut back on something you know does not work for you. It can be foods, chores, or other daily things you can spread out or give to someone else to do. Just pay attention to you as much as you pay attention to those you love and respect You as much as you respect others.
Sit down if you must and write out your day. The things you need to get done and the things you can put off or give to someone else to do. Then follow through with changing things up a bit to lesson your load. And work at eating better, getting a good night sleep, and moving your body to give you more energy. You and your loved ones will be glad you paid attention to you.
S R John
Author S R John
Ghost Detective The Magic Ruby
Life Coach - Caring for the Caregiver
Volunteer Ontario Caregivers
Married to a man with Bipolar. Caregiver to family. My own health scare has been challenging. We forget to take care of ourselves.