Self-care, self-care, self-care: You hear the words so often that you probably get sick of them. And instead of making you think of rest and relaxation, maybe the word triggers feelings of pressure or guilt (I know I need self-care, but how will I ever fit it in?).
Or maybe you just don’t know where to start. You could be blindfolded in a room full of people who need to be cared for, and in that situation, you’re fully equipped, ready to meet whatever needs present themselves. But caring for yourself — not so much. Sound familiar?
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or just drawing a blank, try one of these three simple entry points to self-care.
Eliza: I recently visited this beautiful, 60-acre garden that’s nearby. My family put it on our calendars months ago, and did what we needed to do to make sure we could all go.
Michelle: I adore this colorful piece by a fellow caregiver who over the years has also become a steadfast friend. This piece is called “Walking Each Other Home” and I smile every time I see it…which is often, as it has finally found its place in a high-traffic area of our home. Check out more of Judith Henry’s beautiful work at her website (she wrote an amazing book about caregiving too).
Michelle: Sometimes all you need for self-care is to snuggle under a cozy blanket with a fancy bag of chips you don’t have to share. Simple as that.
Or chocolate. Chocolate solves everything, and in the moment, it’s easy to grab and doesn’t require work or planning ahead—other than keeping it hidden from others and making sure you always have inventory!
Incorporate self-care daily
Caregivers usually can’t get away without lining up respite care, prepping meds and meals, leaving notes and instructions. Because getting help often feels like more work (because it is, even though it’s worth it), we tend to push self-care aside.
Prioritize building “me days” into your calendar if you find yourself forgetting to do things that are just for you (doctor’s appointments don’t count!). If seeing your friends or family would soothe your soul, build “us days” into the schedule.
And if you get stuck—or until the plans come together—tap into nature, art, and food. The things that are right in front of you. The things that don’t require much planning. The things that give you little bursts of joy and feed your soul (and stomach!) until you can take more time to break away. Because caregivers, you matter. Your joy matters, your rest matters, and your self-care isn’t selfish!
Dive into big and small self-care acts on the daily! Check out our tips on Instagram for inspiration.