Caring For The Carer: How To Put Your Well-Being First

In modern life, it can often feel like we’re drowning in responsibilities - our careers, homes to fun, friends to comfort and council, family to care for - the list never ends. And unfortunately? At the very bottom of this long list comes someone else: you. Yet if you do get into the trap of always putting your own well-being last, it can be toxic. Who cares for the carer?

Our well-being can go in cycles over the course of the year, we have times when there are extra stress factors, negative experiences, health worries and more. But if we constantly push these things to one side, they can build up and ultimately cause mental and physical damage. Before you know it, you have ongoing conditions to manage, like migraines, back pain or chronic indigestion and are looking up medicare prescription plans. Your health and well-being is the most valuable asset you have, so learning how to take care of yourself is something you owe to yourself and those who depend on you.

Slow It Down

Caring For The Carer
Have you ever heard the saying ‘stop and smell the roses’? Well, there is a real value in this gentle epithet, especially in our fast-paced, twenty four hour culture. Consciously slow it down. Develop little rituals that allow you to be in the moment rather than constantly running over mental to-do lists and that are good for your spirit. It could be sitting outside to drink a morning cup of coffee, booking in a monthly appointment for a massage or taking a walk at lunchtime. Make it a priority, because although it seems minor, things like this are the basis of mindfulness and can really help you to maintain balance in your life. Stop to acknowledge the existence of these small positives in your day. In turn that will help to gently reduce stress, provide a respite from any difficulties you’re facing and give your confidence a little boost. Well worth taking half an hour for!

Know Your Value

By always putting ourselves last, we’re constantly sending a subliminal message to ourselves that we don't have value. Without value, our self-esteem is low, and that can lead to a range of harmful effects such as emotional over-eating. Don't be too self-critical, either. While it's good to want to improve ourselves, we are often guilty of a very negative self commentary that actually holds us back from achieving things. Instead, speak to yourself as you would a friend. Allow yourself mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.

Talk To Someone

Sometimes you just need to offload to someone who won't make judgments. If you don't have a good friend, then professional counselling is an option should you need it. A trained professional can help you work through problems and turn things into positives for you.  Behavior change can lead to great strength with a bit of professional guidance. It shouldn't just be reserved for when you're in crisis - it can simply help if you feel stuck in a rut or
directionless.

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