There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself while you take care of others. In fact, it is something we should all be priortizing. Caregivers often fall into the trap of treating themselves as if they were the only person on earth who shouldn’t receive proper care. Contrary to popular opinion and your own best intentions, you cannot take care of anyone unless you have first taken care of yourself. A starving person has no energy to feed others. A sick person cannot make anyone else well. An impoverished person cannot enrich anyone else. It seems simple when you say it out loud: You have to have something in order to give something. You cannot give what you do not have.
If you want to give yourself the best chance of serving others, try serving yourself in the following ways:
1. Life Insurance
Life insurance is one of those things that eliminates the choice of giving or receiving. When you have life insurance, you do both at the same time. You give yourself peace of mind, knowing that your beneficiary will be taken care of in the event that something happens to you. That can be a huge weight lifted from your shoulders.
If you are concerned about whether or not you qualify, go with a company offering life insurance, no medical exam required. That way, preexisting conditions will not stop you from being able to offer some level of financial protection to the people you love and want to serve the most. Getting life insurance might not be the most glamorous thing you can do. But it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, and for the people you serve.
2. A Little Cosmetic Work
Do those bags under your eyes cause you an undue amount of stress and anxiety? Ask your doctor about blepharoplasty. It is a big word that represents a small fix to an outsized problem. It doesn’t matter if it is a problem for anyone else. It is a problem for you. Cosmetic surgeons are in the business of making you feel better about yourself. No one has the right to judge you for taking care of your needs, even you.
If you were working with someone who had a mole that made them self-conscious, you would tell them two things:
- You are beautiful just the way you are.
- There are simple and affordable procedures if it is bothering you that much.
The only mystery is why more caregivers don’t say these things to themselves. Treat yourself to feeling better about yourself. And help others do the same.
3. Unconditional Love
There is a long-running show called “Pit Bulls & Parolees.” The unspoken but ever-present message in every episode is that even people who have done bad things deserve a second chance and unconditional love. If your living situation and budget allow for it, get a dog or cat or something that will facilitate a love feedback loop. Keep your pets healthy and happy and they will return the favor.
There are many places you can go for a week even if you are on a budget. Travel is not just a luxury for the wealthy. It is one of the best ways to relax and recreate. People who don’t get to take vacations hold in their stress and will keep going until they finally snap. Being a caregiver can be extremely stressful and traveling can be an excellent wait to refresh.
5. A Good Smartphone
You can get a smartphone for free from your carrier. Skip that one. Save up your money so you can buy a good one. You live your life on your phone. That is where you communicate via text and video. It is your TV when you are on the go. It is your very own personal assistant. And it helps you keep track of your health. If you don’t have anything important to do, any smartphone will do. But you have the most important kind of work to do. Get the kind of smartphone that makes that work more enjoyable.
Life insurance, a little cosmetic work, unconditional love, travel, and a decent smartphone is not just for the people you serve. Take your own advice and take better care of yourself.