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#13 Steps to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others

 

Note: some of the resources/links below may be affiliate links, meaning I get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

I think that I created this episode because I found myself exhausted from caring for others.  I've experienced this before, when I got to care for my mother as she was dying from cancer - but during these unprecedented and challenging times, I find myself exhausted by caring for others.  

That's OK.

But I wanted to give you some strategies to make sure you can still love and support others right now. 

Remember- if you are depleted or exhausted then you can't keep showing up for others.

Part 4 in a 6-part series.

In this episode you will learn:

  1. Why caring for others might make you tired.
  2. Steps to take care of yourself so that you can still take care of others.
  3. What self-compassion looks like while caring for others


"Caregiver fatigue is not a sign of weakness. But a sign of caring."  Kristin Neff

When we care for others it can make us tired.

That’s ok! It just means we are human and love too much.  

In addition to maybe making us fatigued (emotionally, physically, and mentally), it can also cause issues with our sleep, make us more quick to anger, and make us more easily irritated.

Thanks a lot "EMPATHY."  Thanks a lot "LOVE." <kidding, of course - because without these then you are either a sociopath or a psychopath...I can't remember which one>

Here are some steps to get you started on making sure you still have something left to give to others....I go into much more detail in the podcast.

 

Setting up emotional boundaries

  1. News and social media - what supports you and what depletes you?  Check out this podcast about information overload and this one about decision fatigue.
    You have a choice about how you are engaging with news and social media - or any information.  It can be something that enriches you, educates you, supports you, offers social interaction - or it can deplete you, upset you, and drain you. 
  2. Caring for friends and family - what supports you and what depletes you?  No, I’m not saying to ditch anyone, just to consider finding a way to get more of what supports you and maybe less of what doesn't.

 

Self-care

  1. What are you doing to take care of yourself?
  2. Self-care is not selfish
  3. Self-care is more than just bubble baths and wine.
  4. Exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, social interaction, and staying hydrated are some of my favorites.

 

Empathy makes you human

It's part of being human.  Never view your desire to care for other, to be compassionate - even to the point of exhaustion - as a weakness. It is a strength that I hope you never lose faith in.

"Empathy says, 'I feel you.' Compassion says, 'I hold you.'" -Kristin Neff

 

I feel you and I hold you. 

 

Resources:

Kristen Neff, Over Coming Objections to Self-Compassion Video

Kristen Neff, 2015, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer, 2019, Teaching the Mindful Self Compassion Program

 You can dive deep into some the benefits in Dr. Neff's books above, but here is a helpful summary.

 

Don't miss out on the entire 6-part series on self-compassion!

Start with Episode 10: Self-compassion, Your New Favorite Super-Power

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I wish you a healthy, happy, and mostly sane week!

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