Care is defined as: the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.
This seems obvious but whether you are a caregiver for a loved one or just need to take better care of yourself or both, many struggle from inadequate attention to this important aspect of our lives.
In today’s world, with so many responsibilities, perhaps laced with guilt or fear of failure and so many distractions that grab our attention as urgent when they really are not, it is easy to overlook taking good care of us.
It is no wonder that people feel burdened by demands or worn out by intense needs of a loved one or a stressful family environment or occupation. Often this leads to unhealthy coping, such as addictions to food or alcohol or stimulating behaviors or even withdrawal from other people, in an attempt to find relief from some of the stress.
Since so many activities and projects seem to be thrust before us and trigger a reflex to act, we forget that none of this can progress successfully without the mental and physical strength to perform well.
This means that to be successful with all our responsibilities, no matter what they are, we need to focus on being the best “us” we can be. This is no secret. It only requires embracing this and putting a plan in place to address this important task in our lives. As with all changes we want or need to make, the best approach is to begin with some simple, small steps, as I outlined in my blog post regarding New Year resolutions.
Whether you are taking care of a disabled or impaired loved one or managing a family or just you, the same list of ideas should to be considered. This is a list that continues to serve as a “menu” for me.
I frequently remind myself of something I learned as a child: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, I feel it is perfectly acceptable to also remind myself to do unto myself as I try to do unto others.
I have used this idea to create a personal project for myself and counseled some friends and family members to do this, with great results. Create “Project You” and elevate taking care of your needs to the number one spot on your To Do list. Project Gina has been a huge success and I have never been happier.
By keeping this in mind and taking care of myself, I have been better able to take care of those around me that need my help or assistance. It has been a worthwhile investment in myself and in my friends and family and those that have used this approach agree.