Anyone who has flown before has heard the emergency instruction recording say, “Put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.” The reason? If there is a decrease in oxygen and you have not put on your oxygen mask, you will quickly realize that by helping someone else put theirs on, you’ve run out of oxygen yourself.
Thankfully, most people never experience this scenario on an airplane trip, however, many people experience this in daily life. A lot of people occupy the space of caregiver. You might be a mom raising young children, or parents raising a child with special needs, or a child taking care of a sick parent, or an adult child caring for an aging parent. You might also find yourself in the roll of taking care of a teenager or adult child who is battling substance use disorders, alcohol use disorders or mental health disorders. You may be the spouse caring for your husband or wife battling these disorders as well. You could also be a sibling or a child of someone struggling. And, it can happen at any moment and continue for a lifetime.
The longevity of the season may be unknown, but the amount of stress one is put under is not. Caring for others well requires that you first take care of yourself. You must know how to understand how to identify stress and how to take time for self-care. Many caregivers feel guilty for taking time for themselves because they are busy taking care of others. However, taking time to care for one self, helps reduce stress, alleviate burn out, and makes it so you can care for others better.
If you are a caregiver, know that it is okay for you to seek help. Stress affects people both physically and mentally. Exercise, rest, a healthy diet (food and drink), and support are all great ways for you to care for yourself. Talking with a professional counselor can help.
You care and love people well. Make sure you are also caring for and loving yourself well.
If you need to speak with someone, we are here to help. We have psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, and licensed counselors on staff. Call 844.728.4929 to find a location near you. We have offices in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.