The Comprehensive How-to Guide for Learning Self-Compassion as a Caregiver

Learn simple practices of self-compassion and self-care as a caregiver to bring ease and joy to your journey..

This free guide will show you how to take the best care of yourself as a caregiver!

As a caregiver for many years, I have learned how important my self-care has been. To take care of our loved ones, we need to take care of ourselves, but we often don’t understand that self-care requires more than wholesome food, exercise, and sleep. Those things are important, but what about our attitudes toward ourselves?

Learning self-compassion as a caregiver can bring the peace and freedom we need to sustain this journey.

We can end up in endless loops of worry, guilt,  and self-doubt. Every choice can feel overwhelming, leaving us feeling isolated and trapped on the caring journey.

Sticking to the healthiest routines may still leave you feeling depleted, uncertain, and frustrated.

 

 

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to get started with self-compassion as a caregiver, such as:

 What is caring for ourselves with compassion?

Self-care for caregivers includes all the topics you may already understand. Focusing on whole foods, exercise, and getting enough sleep is critical. These steps can go a long way toward our sense of well-being. I a huge fan of getting enough rest!

But as caregivers, we cannot even give ourselves these basics until we believe that we deserve them. Proper self-care begins with accepting that we, too, are worth true care. Self-compassion and loving-kindness toward ourselves are the foundations of understanding how to care for yourself while caring for your loved one.

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Accept that you are worthy as a caregiver.

There is no one way or perfect approach to caregiving. We all make mistakes every day. Yet, we, as caregivers, are tough on ourselves. 

Sometimes it’s even worse…I have caregivers tell me that they can not do this anymore. The underlying feeling is one of unworthiness. They are worthy. So are you.

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Self-compassion is integral to successful caregiving.

So often, caregivers are ultra-compassionate toward the ones they care for, that is, until they burn out. Why do they burn out?

If we can not practice and integrate self-compassion into our days ( and hearts), we can not sustain care for another. No matter how much we love them.

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Self-compassion empowers caregivers to drop self-judgment.

This is a big statement, but I believe it to be true. When we, as caregivers, can embrace and practice loving-kindness toward ourselves, the caring journey becomes one of less stress and more kindness for all concerned. 

Not only do we stop beating ourselves up, but we also find less fault in others. This runs the gamut from the professional you have to negotiate with to the clerk at the store, all the way to the one you care for.

Why is it so important to learn self-compassion as a caregiver?

When caregivers learn to take care of themselves at the deepest levels, they experience more peace and ease on the care journey. 

I have shown mindfulness tools to hundreds of caregivers. They have been able to slow down in their minds and bodies, even on their busiest days. 

When we can calm our nervous systems, we begin to ease our way out of the “Fight, Flight, or Freeze” mode.  

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Your nervous system rules every action you take.

Often, we react to a situation and are shocked at what we just did or said.   The reaction is your nervous system taking action. Our nervous systems try hard to protect us when they have received the message that we don’t feel safe and calm.

When caregivers manage their nervous systems, they manage their stress.

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Slowing down is not just moving slowly.

It is paying attention to our bodies and our breath. Slowing down calms the nervous system. It gets the message that all is well!

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Mindfulness is the state being fully present to ourselves.

When we, as caregivers, are aware of every action we take, we are fully present. When we become aware of where we are in space and how we are breathing (or if we are holding our breath), we naturally begin to slow down. As we become more mindful, we access a state of self-compassion. We begin to care about ourselves. It is such a relief!

 How to care for yourself with compassion.

1. Notice when you are holding your breath. Take a deep breath.

2. Count to three before answering the phone.

3. Become aware of how quickly you move about.

4. When upset or agitated, put a hand on your heart.

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Step 1 . Do one pleasurable thing today.

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Step 2 . Slow down.

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Step 3 . Name one thing you are grateful for today.

 Tips/best practices fo self-care with compassion.

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Best practices to succeed with slowing your breath...

My favorite easy tip here is to count your breath. Count to 5 as you inhale. Hold if possible. Count to 7 on your exhale.

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Tip to succeed with pausing before you proceed...

Taking time to respond with thought feels much better than reactively taking action.  My tip: ask your heart what it is saying to you. It has a lot to say!

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Best practice for learning self-compassion as a caregiver....

Developing self-compassion as a caregiver asks you to forgive yourself for your perceived mistakes today. Ask yourself how you would respond to your loved one. Treat yourself with the same care.

Best tools for becoming a self-compassionate caregiver.

Below is a list of resources that I hope you find helpful!

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A free app for meditations:

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A favorite mindfulness teacher

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My YouTube videos for Caregivers

Get started with developing self-compassion as a caregiver today

I have been on the caring journey for 15 years. I have discovered that treating myself with heartfelt compassion is the path to finding ease, peace, and even joy! 

I believe it’s possible for you, too!

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Treat yourself as you would treat your loved ones. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

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You are just as worthy as anyone. You are the perfect caregiver.

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For more help, schedule a free private call with me. I am here for you.

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