Holiday Survival for People Who Care
Are you a “Care Giver?” You do not have to be a Health Care Professional. Perhaps you are a “giver,” someone who would rather do nice things for other people. The Holidays are arriving and you may have extra pressure to meet your expectations of serving during these special times. Throughout the year, you are often preoccupied with the need to serve, but many factors add to this obsession as the Holidays approach. There are many avocations that are filled with people who would rather put other people first. Many teachers, nurses, therapists, fire personnel, clergy, governmental personnel, people in law enforcement, military personnel, and many moms are people who by nature make themselves available to serve. As their commitment to service increases, their sense of self-value and purpose is magnified. The world needs people who have this strong motivation to help other people. My point is that these people can require time and energy for their own self-care and this can be less of a priority for these folks during the holidays.
To be a better service to others, these “givers” must be reminded that they must take care of themselves. By using appropriate self-care, “givers” often find that they have more energy to serve and, more importantly, that the quality of their service improves. When you are “burned out,” it is more difficult to really listen to the people around you. You can be distracted by your internal anxiety and stress. It can be difficult to understand how by taking time for yourself, you actually have more time and energy for service to others. My challenge is to you, is that you should find what your basic requirements are for “balance” in your life and then do not compromise these requirements as you set out to be of service. Find time for “you!” As an example, people in health care or mothers seem to miss the opportunities to get enough exercise or to eat correctly or to practice stress management and so are not as effective as they know that they can be. They think that this is due to lack of time, but actually it is due to lack of focus. Their focus is disturbed by unconscious levels of stress and internal distractions. You may also be losing an opportunity to lead by example, “Walk your talk.”
The world needs more healthy role models. People of all ages need to witness that self-care is not only necessary for health but can create more productivity and enhanced performance. Schedule time for your own self-care. Do not bankrupt your abilities to serve or to give the highest quality of care.
Finally, find the true “spirit” of the holidays. Share your warmth with family, friends, and other people of this world by being an accepting, supportive source of light and good cheer. Sometimes, just a smile, a hug, an extra moment to really listen, or a sincere compliment will nourish the soul and offer the best gift that you can give. And, as you provide this to others, allow yourself to bask in the gifts that come your way… (One of the best gifts that you can give is to allow another person to “give” to you.)
L. John Mason, Ph.D. is the author of the best selling “Guide to Stress Reduction.” Since 1977, he has offered Executive Coaching and Training. home care assistance montreal