Encouragement To The Caregiver - SawyerMarie
If you're like me, self-compassion is hard. But it's especially hard when you are also a caregiver to someone sick.
You have compassion for your friend, even though they forgot it was a special day for you.
You have compassion for the person you take care of, even if you had to miss the church event you were looking forward to because of a flare-up.
But when it comes to yourself- you can't mess up or slack off at all.
So you keep pushing yourself as hard as you can.
If that person is you, this post is for you.
Self-compassion is essential. Not only for yourself but for your hurting loved one or the person you take care of.
"Setting aside time to properly care for our mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual needs is not selfish. On the contrary, creating time for proper self-care is a selfless act. It is the opposite of selfishness to maintain the best condition one can, particularly if it is done to be of service to others." -Psychology Today (emphasis mine)
What Is Self-Compassion?
According to self-compassion.org, self-compassion is "Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself… self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?"
According to Kristin Neff, Ph.D., self-compassion has 3 main pillars. For this post, I will mainly be talking about the 1st pillar. The first pillar is Self-Kindness.
Let's talk about how you are kind to people in your life.
But do you show that kindness to yourself?
Yes, it may look a little different. But not as much as you would think.
Self-Kindness looks like being:
Patient with yourself
Remember that you're not perfect, and that's okay (no human is perfect!)
Remembering you can only do your best
While researching for this post, I came across a quote that summed it all up beautifully.
(Image by SawyerMarie)
Here are some practical tools I have used to practice self-compassion:
I remind myself that I'm not perfect.
I try my hardest to have a kind 'tone' with my self talk.
I remember I'm still learning, and even if it doesn't feel like it, I am becoming more like Jesus every day.
I practice self-care (I try and choose between crafting, painting, doodling, reading, napping, photography, practicing American Sign Language, or listening to music every day for 30+ minutes for self-care)
A piece of advice for caregivers:
It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to ask someone for help, so you can step away for an hour, an afternoon, a day, so you can recharge yourself. <3 Remember that you are so appreciated for what you do!
You're not going to be perfect with self-compassion. And that's okay. Some days are harder than others. Just remember, you are so loved by Jesus just as you are. Just do your best. <3
SawyerMarie is a word-loving teenager, letter writer, future published author, big sister, reading nerd, history nerd, reader, INFJ personality, and a daughter of The King. Connect with her at her website to find Hope & Light through Jesus at SundropGirls