Grace & Compassion
Be kind to yourself. One of my biggest takeaways over the last while has been becoming aware of certain words that pop into my mind - and then deciding whether those words are helpful or not to my overall wellbeing.
The biggest culprit for me has been the word “should” and the two thoughts, “I should do more with Summer” and “I should exercise more”.
On a good day, the word “should” is a red flag because it means that I’m telling myself to do something that I may not want to do - but feeling the pressure from society, family, etc. to do it anyways.
In self-isolation, I’m home all day by myself with my daughter with special needs and my neurotypical son - and this word can do lots of harm to my mental health. The good news is that I have been noticing when it appears.
Because of this, I’m trying to be a lot kinder to myself as I find myself in this situation where I have little control.
Regarding the issue of exercising more, I’m trying to replace the word “exercise” with the word “movement”.
You see, focusing on moving my body is a lot easier than focusing on exercising. I do walk every day (which is movement), but a little voice inside of my head tells me that I need to do more.
None of this is helpful.
I always laugh when I find myself in a situation where I need to actually take the advice that I give to my clients. When I work with caregivers, I always tell them to be kinder to themselves.
And that is exactly the best way for all caregivers to navigate the current situation and remain sane. Schedules will change, behaviours will regress and you will still have good days and bad days.
It’s not just you. You are not alone. You are doing a great job.
Simply remember to love yourself as much as you do your kids. The grace and compassion that you show yourself are the gifts that you give your entire family.
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As we all know, caregiving doesn’t discriminate against age, race, religion or sexual orientation. Therefore, there are lots of opinions, ideas, experiences and perspectives that come to the caregiver table.