Let's be wisely selfish
...and give ourselves a break
When we are committed to helping others we must also be willing to care for and nurture ourselves so that we are able to give consistently. Becoming exhausted and stressed as a result of thinking we are indispensable is not being compassionate.
When we are out of touch with our body and failing to take care of ourselves its important to 'check in' with ourselves. We can take a closer look and determine whether we are making ourselves busy helping others in order to avoid facing our own difficulties and inner pain.
Give Yourself What You Need
If we realise this is happening, we can give ourselves what we need and be creative in working with ourselves. We may find it beneficial to watch or read or listen to inspiring teachings which can open up our minds and hearts. Sometimes our emotional pain can leave us closed off and we may want to avoid meditation. We can then take a little time each day to nurture ourselves with the Loving Kindness Practice for Ourselves and Self-Tonglen Rractice.
Being Wisely Selfish
Take good breaks for yourself.. Relaxing well allows you to recharge and inspire yourself so that you can continue to bring inspiration to your caring for others.
Creating Some 'Me' time
You need to establish a sane routine for yourself and not filling every break in your day or week with plans and activities. Leave time just for you, to restore yourself. When you've found you've had a particularly hard time, find ways to give yourself some time and space to settle your feelings before resuming any responsibilities.
Ideas to help with Relaxation
Perhaps 1/2 an hour of quiet meditation, a warm bath, listening to music , going for a walk in nature, or writing a journal.
Each week cultivate other creative interests that help nurture and restore your whole being - body, emotions, heart and mind - so that you keep a balance in your life between helping others and relaxation and play.
Benefits all Round
If you are providing long-term care, your loved one/s will likely feel better when they see you taking time for yourself and feel that they are less of a burden when they see you continuing with other activities.