Take Care of Yourself And You Will Be Taking Care of Others – “Care-Givers”

Caregiver is a name that many of us own.  From basic parenting scenarios to families complicated with end-of-life, spinal cord injuries, congenital diseases or employees of group homes – care-givers is the generically applied term.

Is it difficult to ID care-givers that “did it right.”  Seeing them is a muscle that operates better by practicing the magical and material skills of empathy, doing rather than saying, so to speak.

By the way, I’m on hold right now with the service provider for our currently nonfunctioning internet.  The hold-music is so bad that I had to put the phone in a closed drawer to muffle it.  #selfcare.  Much better.

There are many people who have cared for me and do care for me.  You for starters have cared for and do care for me in your reading, your time, your thoughts, and comments, you are my givers of care.

I am cared for, and you know I get all fluttery when I start talking about you so I’ll stop before you throw-up.  Unless it’s too late.

There are others who gave and give care, obvious names like parents, spouse and friends. And there are many less obvious names – my dogs talking to me when I get home, the lady who came up to me in the 99-cent store and handed me $20.00 to buy treats for my kids, my psychotherapist who told me to “grow up.”  All these and more have and do care for me.

But do we call these people, (or other living creatures,) caregivers?  Is that a name for what you do for me? Not traditionally but it really is.

The differences are found between those who believe they take care of others when they don’t take care of themselves and the inverse – those who take care of themselves, and as part of that effort to be their own friend see caring for others as a natural maturation of their own needs(Remember, agendas again.) In any other design, taking care of others when we don’t take care of ourselves is not sustainable nor congruent with our intentions.  We become the hare who lost the race to the turtle, angry and confused by our results.

Care for the Caregiver Day
Image by Christiana Care via Flickr

I agree that this attempt to share space with the angels who so lovingly nurture and give to those who can’t give to themselves can be perceived as arrogant, ignorant and other names – creep, idiota, a– h—, pompous, fools, bigots, oblivious, uninformed, (this is fun), benighted, blind, old gum under the picnic table jerks.

Be that as it may, please believe that we speak of caregivers without malice.  And if we are ignorant, please let our flaws inspire you to grow us as empathically as you would like us to grow you.  I know it takes a lot of love to deal with someone like us and it is much easier to walk away.

Questions:  Where do you find yourself in the care you give to others?  What helps you remember your intentions to love yourself when stigma or guilt bang you upside the head?  How do you see that caring for yourself is consistent with your goals to serve others?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – Care for yourself and you will see yourself giving care to others.

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Still Interested In Self-Care?

Working for Peanuts

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Self-Care Tip #131 – Start all your efforts and end all your efforts accountably with yourself.

Self-care is:

For many of us, we wonder what self-care is.  Obviously being subjective, it is something unmeasured and changes between us.  It doesn’t interest or make sense to many, depending on their religious biases, culture, temperament and other things.  But others of us, for maybe the same reasons, find self-care to be the place from which our axis swings.  We have together, here at FriendtoYourself.com, through the past eight-plus months, agreed on much of what self-care is and is not.

It is not selfish-care, alone-care, sacrilegious or Godless-care.  It is more than any one thing, for self-care flattens knowledge.  It is not weak but rather courageous.  It brings us to humble accountability for our lives, not erasing our history but still being free to start over any time.  Self-care is living consistent with the belief that the success of our health (emotional, physical, spiritual) begins and ends with Me.

Despite the chorus of boos, we say that we serve God and man better by taking care of ourselves first.  We attack guilt, we stand up to shame, we live as we choose despite stigma and we work harder than we ever have on perhaps the hardest job of our lives.  This is, Self-care.

Are you still interested?

Question:  How do you define self-care?  How is it played out in your life story?  Please tell us.

Take Care of Yourself Better by Knowing What That Means.

Self-care tip #203 – Take care of yourself better by knowing what that means.

What is self-care?

Starting with the responsibility of our own persons needs, not necessarily for selfish reasons or self-less reasons – although it may be.  Self-care may also be starting with our own selves is not so simply because it is the shortest route to doing anything we want in life.  Pick something, anything.  Community service.  Parenting.  Science research.  Evangelism.  Rock-in-roll.  Name it.  Self-care gets you there more effectively and efficiently.

Self-care is not alone-care.  Self-care is a connecting force between Me and Me, Me and you, Me and all Life and Me and God.

What is self-care?

mbti, getting things done, productivity, technology

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Insight.  Insight to our needs.  Insight to our feelings.  Insight to our body function.  Insight to the needs around us and how we intersect with them.  Insight into our behaviors.

Self-care is insight into our own temperaments and pursuing the natural desires, talents, interests of our own design.
Personality Types.

Choices.  Choices to align ourselves with the constructive/positive efforts of our conscious and subconscious selves.  Choices to respond to the insight and own our role implied by the insight.  Choices to take care of our body, concretely – eat well, sleep well, exercise, drink water, take our vitamins and medications as prescribed.  Choices to Love and be Loved.  Choices to connect with others and relinquish the pride that drives our isolation.  Choices to be as healthy as possible as a gift to yourself and to those you love.

Self-care is letting go of our history.

Self-care is grabbing responsibility for now and our future.

Self-care is knowing that no one is responsible for how I feel, behave, think or function, except Me.

Question:  What is self-care for you?  Please tell me your story.

“You” Are The Best Gift

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Self-Care Tip #123 <–> Take care of yourself.

Before I was found by my man, my brother Vance Johnson used to tell me, “Become the woman whom the kind of man you hope to marry some day would want.”  It was one more thing that helped keep my focus off of searching for boyfun-friends and on to living my life.

Of course it doesn’t end when we get what we want.  When we stop growing, we stop living – as Sarah said in the blog-post, “You Are Enough.”  Regardless of where we are in life, we are responsible for being the person that the people we want in our life want to be with.

Many of us deteriorate under the guise of service, employment, obligation, parenting, care-giving or whatever reason.  We neglect ourselves and then give that battered up self to our hopes and to the people we love.

Don’t be misled.  If asked, those very people we are serving would say, “Just take care of yourself.”  If you don’t believe it, reverse it.  What do you want to say to the over-extended people you love?

Jennifer who is a stay at home mom, tells me that she feels so guilty when she takes time to go for a run.  She laughs, saying her husband wants her to go.  He comes home and tells her, “Go!  I’ll watch the kids.”  Yet she still feels bad.  She thinks about her husband’s long day at work and the kids moods, their needs, what she could do for them, and she can barely force herself to leave.  Once she does, she says she always feels great about herself and them, and comes home having more than she did before to offer.

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Taking care of ourselves, is giving the best gift to the people we love.  “Me.”  Taking care of ourselves might be the most selfless thing we could do.  It keeps us connected to our life journey, which by definition includes keeping us connected to the very people we love.

Keep on!

Question:  Where are you in your journey?  Taking care of yourself, connected, disconnected?  How does it affect those you love?  Please tell me your story.

This Side of the Fence

When taking care of ourselves, we are taking care of others.  It might be counterintuitive.  There is a circle service can turn us in.  I give to you, I take care of you, I start realizing at some level that I’m not being taken care of, I hold you responsible now for my neglect, and then around again.  Some support this pattern from cultural influences.  Some with intuition.

This can be a place we find ourselves in our relationship to anything or anyone.  Employment or even unemployment.  We may find ourselves saying things like why me, or feeling like we are selected out by some greater force to suffer.  Any time self-reflection whispers anything about the word “victim,” look for the “circle-walk.”

Now some listening to this might say service is the best thing of their lives and imply that without service, life isn’t right.  Sure.  However, that’s not my argument.  Mine is that taking care of one’s own self is also a form of service to others.  In fact, let’s boldly put taking care of one’s self at the top of the service list.  Standing up there can feel awkward, presumptive, selfish, unChristian.  What does it feel like for you?

I’m told 😉 this is hard.  It is.  We just try our best.  Every day we try again.  Every moment we remember, we try.  My husband often says, “God is a God of second chances.”  I think He wants us to treat ourselves with as much courtesy.

In addictions therapy, we tell the addict that a relapse isn’t a failure, it is part of the road to recovery.  When we take care of ourselves, we may find ourselves up against any number of forces, including patterned negative behaviors. We can learn from the brave people fighting the disease of addiction. When we don’t treat ourselves well, we are not a failure.  Rather we are on the road to becoming a better friend to ourselves.  That also takes courage.

Onward and upward my friends!  Let me know what you think.

Self Care Tip #28 – Look at your own side of the fence.  Be a friend to yourself.