If you’re accustomed to putting others first before themselves, you’re more susceptible to mental and emotional burnout. Sadly, many other-oriented caregivers may not even realize they’re on the verge of this burnout until they hit the wall. This phenomenon, in turn, begs the question: how do you care for yourself while you’re caring for others?
This question can be hard to answer, especially if you’re not used to thinking about your needs. However, that’s precisely what we’re here to explore today: how you can take care of yourself while simultaneously caring for your loved ones around. Read on to learn more about how you can nourish yourself while nourishing others.
Take A Timeout
Think about the last time you felt overwhelmed by the thought of caring for someone else. How did you feel? Did you feel anxious? Do you feel exhausted? Or maybe you feel frustrated? No matter what you felt, take a moment to tell yourself that these are all perfectly valid emotions and that you are not wrong or bad for feeling emotions. After that, take 20 minutes for yourself to decompress. This little break can look like a long walk, a sit on the couch, or even a quick laugh break watching some of your favorite funny videos on YouTube. These quick breaks are especially great for students, no matter whether you’re in a bachelor’s or master’s program, and they can be integral in maintaining your sanity.
As a natural caregiver, your inclination is most likely towards other people. While this can be a great instinct, it can quickly go haywire if you don’t prioritize your needs. The next time you feel burned out from caregiving, take a moment to consider what you need to do next. Is it something you can accomplish in ten minutes? Are the people whose help you need readily available? Will you feel more at ease if you decide to take care of this task next? Getting in touch with your priorities is imperative to ordering both yourself and your life; don’t overlook this step.
Perhaps you want to change the world, or at the very least, you feel like you have the power to do so. While we don’t want to knock your philanthropic ambitions, keep in mind that you’re only one person! It’s an incredibly rare (and often doomed) human being who can singlehandedly change the world around them. In these moments, take a deep breath. Deep breathing can do wonders to bring you back down to a calmer, more centered baseline. A popular breathing technique is the 4-6-8 technique: breath in for four seconds, hold your breath for six and then exhale for eight. After a few rounds, you’re guaranteed to feel more at peace but more grounded in your purpose and the subsequent decisions you’ll make.
As beautiful and necessary as natural-born caregivers are, sometimes they need to take a little more time than others to care for themselves. Hopefully, if you fall in this camp, you’ve learned a few tricks to help center yourself the next time you feel overwhelmed about the amount of tender loving care the world needs.
This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.