As a carer your role is to nurture another. The term nurture refers to caring and protecting (someone or something) while they grow. No matter the age of you or your care recipient, you’re always growing because you’re always evolving in your own unique way.

You may not even realise you’re a ‘carer’ because it’s assumed responsibility due to your role within the family unit. It’s not a ‘typical’ situation. For most, it’s a challenging one which can significantly impact your health and wellbeing if not managed well. It’s inevitable your wellbeing will be compromised from time to time, but it must never be sacrificed; because this leads to further challenges.

It’s not uncommon to hear stories of how the impacts of long-term caring led carers to be physically unable to sustain the caring role. In which case, who’s caring for the carer?

There’ll come times when you fall ill, whether it be a cold, flu, virus, or you’re simply exhausted because the demands of life have become too overwhelming. It’s crucial to give yourself adequate time to recover and heal from these situations without a sense of guilt.

I take care of myself reasonably well. I’ve learnt what works for me to maintain a balanced state of wellbeing and the triggers for when I’m slipping to a state of imbalance. However, I recently fell very ill and the severity of the experience caught me by surprise. I was unable to care for my daughter or continue with work commitments for several days. I was literally bed bound which gave me ample time rest, heal and reflect.

This outcome can occur if you don’t honour your own state of wellbeing. If you allow responsibilities, commitments and the pace of life to run faster than your ability to cope. It will knock you down in unexpected ways as if to say “hey, slow down! It’s not worth it.”

The ego will respond and make excuses; a negative voice rambling a list of WHY you need to push yourself to maintain that pace… I want more money, I can’t say ‘no’, I must find a cure today, I need to be better at this and that. But NO! It’s not true.

Inner peace will never be found by attempts to control. You become acquainted with inner peace by nurturing YOU.

As you allow time to nurture yourself, reduce commitments, responsibilities and simplify life, time will expand and you have greater capacity to feel good about yourself and thrive in your caring role.

During that time of reflection, it occurred to me I didn’t have a back up plan. Do you? What’s your plan in the event you literally don’t have the ability to support the person you care for, even if it’s temporarily? Many carers will respond they don’t have one. You may soldier on through sickness while caring for another as you believe there to be no alternative. I’ve learnt that if you REALLY want something, you’ll find a way to make it happen. The stories I’ve heard about the level of planning involved for some carers to attend our carer retreats is incredible…. and it was all worth it in the end.

If you want to feel good and nurture YOU it requires a strong will and planning to ensure adequate support is available during your time of need.

Many people may fall in the trap of making excuses, “I have no time to care for myself.” But it’s important to make time to nurture yourself regularly to support your wellbeing and it can be as simple as making changes to the choices you make regularly, like the food you choose in the supermarket. Perhaps saying no to that extra glass of wine, or ‘no’ to the event you don’t want to attend. If you don’t ‘feel good’ for an extended period, it can lead to cynicism, resenting your circumstances or blaming others for life’s adversities.

My favourite spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson states ‘Life is not what happens to us. It’s about who we choose to be in the space of what happens to us.’

Know that all your ‘problems’ are manageable. The outcomes are dependant on how you respond to the problems. Who do you choose to be during all this? Will you choose to be loving, compassionate and kind to yourself and others or will you choose to complain and spend time with others who fuel the negativity?

The extent to which you can manage life effectively is dependent on your state of wellbeing. By regularly nurturing your body, mind and spirit, you have greater strength to cope effectively and gracefully.


**To receive practical tools and activities on this topic: SELF-NURTURE join our Carer Escapes community by signing up on the home page.**