Taking care of yourself whilst taking care of others

Making or changing things seems a lot harder than keeping the old habits but eventually after it becomes a bit mindlessly repetitively simple, these small changes will become daily occurrences without even thinking about it, with long-term benefits

I believe anything can become a habit or repetitive thing we do, for example waking up every day having breakfast, getting washed, brushing your teeth, brushing your hair and getting dressed, prepared for what the day brings.

Say you are demotivated, depressed or anxious you might forget to take the morning steps you used to. You’re still in your PJ’s, uncaring or motivated with the thoughts of these tasks which only feed the negative feelings further, possibly having no intention of going out that day…

What do you do then?

This is where you have to become mindful whether caring for yourself or another but you have to recognise and become aware of the risks from thinking or behaving this way, that may be damaging or causing error in yourself or another

When we are taking care of something or someone we are paying special attention or effort to ensure it is not damaged, put at risk or error. Care can also be when the local authorities take responsibility for a child instead of the parents, which I have experienced.

Care is the process of protectively minding or being minded, it’s looking after someone, something or self-care. This could bring to life feelings that make oneself become worried or anxious. I came across the word keeper which is associated with care meaning harmony and agreement with.

Care is about control, management, protection, supervision and guardianship to name but a few. When I talk about control I mean the power to influence people’s behaviours or the course of the event.

When talking personally taking control over the way I think, act and behave is removing many restricting factors that a negative mindset once allowed. I’m working hard to change these for those that I care for and those that care for me.

We give this courtesy to our children, partner, friendships and so forth but often never think to give it to ourselves putting ourselves at risk of personal neglect.

So what is care yet again another word with so many surrounding and linking words but is about being bothered or having an interest. By looking more acutely at just one word ‘care’ I have found more answers.

When we are looking after someone or something we are caring or being cared for eliciting feelings simultaneously of worry, anxiety, and affection.

We can become anxious because we are worried or nervous due to unwelcomed things that might have happened or may happen, causing eagerness to have or do something about it.

Trying to keep ourselves or another safe from harm or injury is the hardest protection of all and the one that elicits feelings of fear to name just one, creating a chain reaction requiring care.

Care is a constant supervision where you are continuously carrying out tasks, jobs or work done to ensure everything is completed correctly.

It is a cycle that needs to be on a never-ending loop. I have spent so long trying to become unstuck I jumped of a cycle I never should have, and that is the one where we take care of ourselves as well.

Guardianship is about defending and protecting which sometimes we don’t have someone to do that for us.

Therefore we are required to learn the methods, skills, and techniques to equip us to be able to do that for ourselves and those we are able and those who are willing, to help.

When it comes to any form of care where it’s for someone else, yourself or something else, caution has to be taken to take care to avoid danger or mistakes. We may do this by paying heed in a cautiously sensible way whilst taking special care to take notice and consideration to things that might help.

We could become overly or underly prudent where all that caution and sensibility gets us stuck or shackled. Could be the opposite where a lack of prudence becomes untamed, hoping to be tameable.   This can cause us to worry and become troubled or bothered over unwelcomed things that have happened or may happen.

We can become annoyed and disturbed by this creating stress, anxiety, and tension. Caring for someone, something or someone can be a source of anxiety that is best learnt to manage.

When we are taking something or someone into consideration we are giving it careful thought such as thoughtfulness towards other people or where we take a fact into account when making a decision.

Taking care of ourselves involves all versions and ways of looking at the word care, even the ones I have not included. We have to mindfully look after ourselves by watching over, protecting, tending, or nursing ourselves back to a healthy mind set.

How we handle or deal with this, learn to manage or cope with it all depends on the individual. At the bottom of the article, I will include links to some articles that give more suggestions on how one goes about initiating self-care in more detail, I focused on care more acutely in this writing.

One of the first steps in self-care is being out the door ready each day whether in your comfy or feel good clothes it’s the start to combat a lack of motivation, drive and focus. One of the hardest to motivate is depression, anxiety or self-critical behaviour but forcing oneself to do these actions is a must.

You can access an article here A trio for self-destruction: self-hatred, anxiety, and depression on these mental health problems.

Some of the therapeutic activities I came across entailed personal-care as a highly important aspect to care. Relaxation could be anything from going for a walk, listening to music or yoga which I tried and enjoyed but lacked consistency.

Keeping your body fuelled and hydrated healthy through a well-balanced diet will give you the strength to get through your day. It allows you to keep physically and mentally active which is another tip I’m always reading about. Doing these each day will help with trying to get enough sleep by physically and mentally keeping yourself stimulated throughout the day leading into your evening.

Mindfulness is about paying heed, becoming aware and recognising what’s around you in all areas able. Learning how to take your own feelings into consideration alongside how others feel is a skill one can learn to improve that benefits all. An inner balance is achievable by recognising and accepting where needs work and where you already have the skills.

Getting out into nature can be a source of anxiety for some but the more accustomed you come to doing it allows for relaxation, mindfulness and being physically active ticking a few of the list simultaneously.

The first source for Self-care comes from the website mind. Here it talks about ways for you to stay aware of your mental health, how to nourish your social life. Just click the link to the website to take a look www.mind.org.uk

There are articles about trying peer support and making time for some of the therapeutic activities discussed above alongside looking after your physical health and how to contact specialist organisations.

The second source that I was grateful for is a really useful table available on Dr. Perry’s website where it has snapshot tips for self-care on an emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, practical and social level which was really useful for a quick reminder and some new ideas.

Learning how to manage how we care is essential not only for ourselves but our dependants and those around us starting with ourselves, self-help

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo by Daria Shevtsova

Further reading

  1. Catastrophising; worst case scenario at an extreme
  2. Looking into the word individual
  3. Friday 27th Septemeber 2018; Time to begin looking into how one goes about taking self-care?
  4. Heard of a midlife crisis but a quarter-life crisis, what is that?
  5. A trio for self-destruction: self-hatred, anxiety, and depression

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naturalempathiser

I enjoy writing and believe everyone has a story. I have hit a brick wall when searching for my own answers so, I have been looking at alternatives and becoming a blogger seems a good choice. No, we can't get answers to all our questions alone but, together the possibilities are endless

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