Ways to Care for Caregivers & Caretakers

Love Note to Caregivers and Caretakers....

Can you hold you? 
Wrap your arms around you, massage your hands and feet. 
Can you linger in the arms of a hug. 
If there isn’t someone near you, can you close your eyes and envision being held.

Take time to step outside and breathe.
Do you see the stars, the moon? Is it raining?
Let the wind and weather touch your skin.

Is there a gift of roses you can give yourself? 
What would be a simple gift for you? Is it a book, time to nap, a walk with a friend, a yoga class, a delicious cup of tea?

Take time to open your journal. 
Write and listen to your own voice.

Go as far as you need to rescue your heart. 
Have you been immersed in sorrow or sadness?
 Where is your heart right now? 
Go be with your heart and hold your heart.

Create a small sanctuary for your heart.
It can be a tent, a book, your bed, your porch, a park bench, a shawl wrapped around you.
Find a place to be with you for awhile.

Caregivers/Caretakers is one of the 7 patterns found in the book Transform Your Boundaries. This is a challenging pattern to find time for you and meet any of your needs because others need you. In the book you will find some ways to help you care for you. 

About the collage above: I made this collage to offer nurturing support for caregivers. It has reminders to care for you.  Please share this blog with a friend.  

How to Begin Sticking Up for Yourself

If you haven't been sticking up for yourself, it can be daunting to figure out how to turn things around. You may feel hurt by other people, frequently. You may even be thinking this is somehow your fault. You may wonder why are people stepping all over you?

Is it time for you to get on your own team? Are you needing some boundaries?
Boundaries can feel really hard to establish if you don’t practice using them. 
Sometimes you rob yourself and won’t allow yourself to stand up for yourself when you need to.
We all know that wrenching feeling in our gut when we are not standing up for ourselves.

What are boundary violations?
When you are being treated badly, with rude behavior, you notice. You are not being overly sensitive. In fact, when your feelings are mocked, or discounted that way, it is a boundary violation. Maybe you are being stepped on by someone who bullies you. Maybe you feel stepped on by someone who tells you what you “should” feel, rather than listening to how you actually do feel. 

How to begin sticking up for yourself
The best way to begin sticking up for yourself is giving voice to your feelings. There are no wrong feelings. Feelings just are.

There are so many ways that we rob ourselves of permission. 

When you don’t allow yourself to stick up for you, you send a message to yourself that even you aren’t on your own team.
If you aren’t on your own team, who is?

There are lots of ways to stick up for yourself without being rude or mean to other people. There is nothing more soul robbing than having someone else tell you what you “should” feel and how you “should” behave.

No more soul robbing.

 Speak Your Truth
If someone tells you how you “should” feel,  stick up for yourself by speaking your truth. You feel what you feel. It is important to know how you feel. It is part of your wisdom. Feelings just are. Stick up for knowing what you feel and allowing yourself to have your feelings.

Your feelings don’t have to be liked by anyone else. Though it goes a long way to creating connection when someone cares about how you feel and takes time to listen and get you.

Speak for Yourself
Boundaries get very confusing when you speak for someone else. Only speak for yourself. Do not allow others to speak for you. They can’t. Sticking up for yourself means you will have the difficult and uncomfortable conversations, by saying what you need to say, and not ask others to say it for you. 

It Gets Easier
Sticking up for yourself, and speaking your truth gets easier with practice. It is hard at first. Look for opportunities to say things that you usually keep inside. You will not be able to change people. But you can change you. You won’t feel stepped on or crushed by others if you speak your truth. They may do the same behavior, they may try to step on you, but the big difference is how you respond.