Healing for the People Pleasers & Chronic Caretakers
I just want to know, what are you doing to take care of yourself these days?
So often we are busting our chops to take care of the people around us that we love, that we care about. And whenever we are needed, we are there for them. But what happens when we need to be there for ourselves? What happens when we need to put our needs ahead of everyone else around us so that we have more to give? What happens when we need to ask for help?
So many of the chronic caretakers, myself included, have spent years putting other people before our own health and wellness. But what happens is we have nothing left to give.
This week I was working with one of my clients on this exact topic. Her name is Sarah.
(That’s not her real name cause I don’t like to give the real names of my real clients, but we’ll just say her name is Sarah.)
Sarah found out that her mom was in need of surgery and was going to have that surgery in the next week. Sara became a little concerned because of all the summer plans she had with her family and kids and also, how to take care of her mom. She absolutely wants to be there for her mom, but she also still wants to be there for her family.
She said to me, “I want to avoid being overwhelmed and being exhausted and being burnt out.” She new she had other siblings and their families that could help, but she is often the one that takes on everything for her mom and her family. In our coaching call she was asking permission to reach out to them and ask them to help.
And so I said, “Sarah, of course, it’s okay for you to do those things!”
In fact, it is the most responsible thing for you as a caretaker to honor that you don’t have to take on the whole world.
You don’t have to take on everything.
You don’t have to do it all.
When somebody asks you for something, whether that is starting a new project at work, helping someone move, or making something for someone; when you say YES, what are you saying NO TO?
I want to invite you to really think about, when you say yes to something, what are you saying no to? And when you are saying no to something, what are you saying yes to?
For Sarah, when she decides that NO she is not going to take everything on by herself, she is actually saying yes to her self care. She’s saying yes to her sanity and her sense of wellbeing. She’s actually saying yes to taking care of her mom in the best way possible so that she’s not exhausted and burnt out therefor unavailable in the presence with her mom.
And she also gets to give her siblings the opportunity to step in and support not only her, but support their mom. Everyone in the family then gets the opportunity to be of service rather than the chronic caretaker coming in and taking care of everything.
Sometimes, when you say NO, other’s get to step up and lead, give and receive.
So the next time your inner caretaker wants to swoop in and save the day like the Wonder Woman you are, ask yourself, “What am I saying NO to, and is it in service to everyone involved?”