5 Tips for Exhausted Helpers who Suck at Self-Care
You love helping people out. Kids, partner, friends, family- no problem. Over the years you’ve been someone that many can rely on, but you’ve also been stepped on, and you’ve let a relationship or so go because you couldn’t bare the one sided-ness anymore. Overall, you still give more of yourself to others than to… well, you. It’s made sense to you. You’ve thought about it and you justify it “because that’s what parents do”, or “that’s what family and friends do for one another”, or it makes “me feel good to give to others, so I am helping me, by helping them”.
It makes total sense, right?
“But why am I so tired? No, not tired… exhausted.”
“Why am I feeling so resentful so often?”
“Why do I feel like I’m living as a shell of myself?”
What you’re experiencing isn’t uncommon. I talk to people who experience some intensity of this in their lives, all of the time. It’s easy for people who care so much for others, to lose sight of caring as intently for themselves. You may justify it with some variation of: “helping others is my obligation, role, responsibility or purpose, so I need to do it, even if at the expense of caring for myself”.
No wonder a sense of “losing myself” develops. In many ways, you have lost sight of you among focusing on everyone else. The thing is, no matter how long you ignore your needs, they won’t and don’t go away. Just like others have needs, so too, do you.
Yes, helping, supporting and caring for others may be an important part of who you are, but it’s not all of who you are. You are also a person worthy and deserving of support, care and help. And, here’s the kicker… others can’t actually sustain meaningful help, support or active care for you if you aren’t striving to do the same for yourself.
This is the very reason why you’re feeling resentful, angry, frustrated, misunderstood, exhausted, stressed, lost, stuck… and different than who and how you want to show up in this world, as a whole authentic person.
Don’t get me wrong, experiencing the spectrum of feelings throughout life is part of being human, but chronically living in a cycle of anxiety, frustration, doubt, anger, resentment, exhaustion, etc., is simply not necessary.
Ask yourself these questions: Am I living, or am I existing? Am I thriving or am I surviving?
If you answered “existing” or “surviving”, I wonder, what does it mean for you to live…. thrivefully live?
If you are intrigued and want to find out more about how to feel more like you’re really living and thriving in your life, check out these tips below:
Tip #1: Get in touch with your body sensations and feelings- don’t suppress them. Notice when that internal storm is starting to brew and take an emotional inventory. #Feelthefeels
Tip #2: Take the time to actually identify your own individual needs, and then create a realistic action plan to make it happen. Hold yourself accountable for listening to your needs and responding to them, if you want others to do the same. #SelfBoundaries
Tip #3: Understand that true self-care is an internal and external practice. Engage in self-care on an on-going basis. #Selfcare
See my video for more self care info: https://youtu.be/mDeMYoTzWJ8
Tip #4: Intentionally communicate with compassion and a goal of mutual understanding. #Communicationiskey
Tip #5: Identify your values. Prioritize the things that matter most to you in your life, and then intentionally spend time focusing specifically on those things. #Monotask
If you notice that you aren’t already implementing these tips, but you feel like you’re existing or surviving instead of living and thriving, go ahead and give them a try for 21 days. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain!
I help my clients to sort through the white noise that distracts many of us in life, and cut through to the core of what’s going on and why. Together we work to move away from existing, move safely out of survival mode, and move towards the desired path of living a full thriving life.
Until next time,