You Can’t Be Everything To Everybody
We’re all going through life at full speed.There are so many people in our lives that we touch everyday.The need to always be available to them is overwhelming. Imagine what’s it’s like as a caregiver.
As a caregiver, you are adding another level to your daily demands. Many of us are working while trying to balance the needs of family. At times it feels like we are being pulled in so many directions that if a good wind comes, we’ll shatter into a million pieces. When that happens, that’s when we have to remember “You can’t be everything, to everybody”.
We have to decide what really deserves our time. Our time is super valuable. We have to make decisions on a dime. We don’t have time to focus on negativity.We have to focus on what matters most, family. I would love to tell you that you can do it all. But, that’s not realistic. Something is not going to get done, and you have to be ok with that.
You have to go forward knowing that you made the best decision at that moment. To help you along that path, here are some tips that have worked for me.
1. Know your schedule: Know when you’re available. Keep your calendar up to date with events or tasks that have to get done (e.g.grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, etc.). The more organized you are, the less stressed you will be.
2. Not everyone is going to understand that you’re a caregiver: I would love to say that people hear the word “caregiver”, and understand the sacrifices immediately. But, most caregivers don’t discuss their situation. So, it can appear to everyone that you have everything under control.
3. “Tell your truth”:This relates specifically to the fact that as caregivers, we have to be willing to talk about what we’re going through. I’m not saying to run into a room full of people, and start screaming about how stressed out you are. I’m talking about speaking with your friends, family, and colleagues about what your life is like. Sharing some of your day-to-day is a great way to help people understand what you are encountering. Not only does it help them understand. But, it helps you release stress and gain support. Caregivers do have more powers than the “X-Men” or “Avengers” (See post: Misconceptions About Caregivers). But, we all need someone to talk to sometimes.
4. “No” is not a bad word: There are many curse words out there, and I’ve used most of them :). But, the one word I used to use the least was “No”. I’ve always been a “Yes person”. I used to say “yes’ to everything I could because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I always felt that if they asked me, they really wanted me to support them. But, once I became a caregiver; I realized that was not going to work. I was spreading myself so thin, I made cheap peanut butter look good :). I was failing on all fronts (e.g.work, family, friends, etc.). So, I took my power back. I realized that if my family was pleased, life was good. “No” creates much-needed balance for caregivers.
5. “You matter”: Make time for yourself. Take the balance that you are creating, and carve out time for you to do something you love. Everyone has dreams and goals. Make sure you do too!
Life doesn’t end because you’re a caregiver. This is just in a temporary season where you’ll learn something that will help you on the path to achieving your goals and dreams. Be present in the season. Protect yourself, and realize “you can’t be everything to everybody”. But, you can be the best “you”.
Until we meet again!