When life feels a bit overwhelming, when caregiving is stretching your capacity to the limits, when patience is difficult to practice, when you are worn out mentally, physically or emotionally (or perhaps in all three ways), self-kindness becomes even more essential for caregivers. Sometimes folks who are supporting others with the many tasks of daily life get bogged down by the lists of appointments, household duties and personal care tasks to be done. Often, caregivers are called upon to give a good portion of their energy towards the good of others … to the extent that their needs take second place.
When I think about the practice of self-kindness, a few ideas come to mind:
*Giving yourself permission to step away from engaging with others. This means paying attention to where your boundaries are, and honouring your limits as a person.
*Pausing to notice when you are being self-critical. This is sometimes referred to as ‘self-talk’; the messages we tell ourselves silently, without speaking them out loud.
“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” –Unknown
*Re-connecting with something you love to do. Try recalling a time when you felt alive doing an activity such as writing, hiking, painting, or traveling (day trips to nearby places are a good !)
*Choosing to focus on what is positive about your situation. This includes appreciating the things you are doing well, such as being thoughtful about how you prepare healthy meals for you and your loved one. To choose: to select freely and after consideration.
I hope you are on the path to discovering how you might nurture kindness for yourself. You are every bit worth the five-star treatment!