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Changing the Way You Help Yourself

See if this sounds familiar: you're at your peak. The list of things to do is getting longer. The more you try and clean it up, it multiplies. "You've got this!" you say to yourself, but the stress continues to increase, and you find yourself becoming more scattered.

Are you willing to ask for help? Or do you see it as a sign of weakness? Caregivers often don't reach out because they don't want others to see the cracks in their 'inability' to accomplish things.

Time to change. Asking for help is a sign of wisdom. By taking an active step in reaching out, you take back the reins of your life. You take your car to the shop for service, right? Maybe even have a grocery delivery service to ease the running back and forth? Those things both count as "help." So don't be afraid to reach out to others for support.

Perhaps, you can raise your hand if you're not sure how to solve a problem, or you're too emotionally drained, or can't figure out how to get that document sorted. Have a conversation with other people/caregivers and ask how they do what they do ~ insights and tips can make a big difference.

There are also ways that you can help yourself in addition to asking for help when you need it. Making lists can be a time saver. But there's an art to list-making - rather than slapping things on paper, it's essential to prioritize the things you need to accomplish:

  • Make a master list of everything that needs to be taken care of

  • Break that list down to priorities. High priority; preparing taxes. Low priority; finding a new lamp for the corner table. They both need to be done, but the taxes have a higher priority.

  • Then, break those tasks into smaller tasks, like tax preparation. Set time aside on your calendar to pull together the itemized papers you'll need; receipts, bills paid. Then another day for inputting data into the tax preparation documents. It's still on the to-do list, but it has become more manageable to get done.

  • Keep that list and check things off as you complete them. There is something very powerful about – "I did it!" whether you've done it on your own or with the help of others.

Please reach out when you need it - don't do this alone.


Cyndi Mariner

Breathing Spaces

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