Caregivers Need Care Too
Caregivers need care too. It’s how you keep going. In the trying (which is right and noble and good), stand up for you too. You matter as much to the whole system as all the people you love and serve freely every day.
So much talk about self care and whether it’s selfish or not. Some religious communities talk about self care as “rest.” However you want to define it, this is what it means to me.
The only person who will ever go to bat for you, all the way to the mat, is you. No one else has your best interests in mind the way your own biological imperative does—your brain and heart that want to crank out all your minutes together to keep you steady on your feet and able to meet life’s demands.
It’s a betrayal of that trust you’ve established with your biology when you:
- are over-tired,
- eat poorly,
- let someone mistreat you,
- over-extend for another person at a cost to your health and well-being.
On the flip side, when you have energy, when your heart feels light and alive, when you have realistic expectations, when you treat yourself with loving-kindness, you are a MUCH better parent, friend, and partner.
So here’s what I mean when I say a caregiver needs care too—honor your pact with your heart and your mind. Make sure they have what they need to sustain your life! That’s not selfish. It’s not sinful. It’s not wrong. It’s the deal you made the day you were born. Between 0-12 months, you were so committed to that goal, you wailed like your life depended on it (because it did) to ensure you were cared for properly.
Return to that memory now and be your own best parent—respond to the silent cries with:
- a change of scene,
- intellectual stimulation,
- and a nap.
It will do you a world of good.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!