The government’s response to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic have led to many new challenges for Australians providing unpaid care for family members and friends, including those most vulnerable to the virus. Many carers also have their own underlying health conditions. These challenges have led to an increase in responsibilities, less access to support and a demand to upskill for the digital age; there’s no alternative.

Have you been coping?

Everyone’s circumstances are unique, so there’s no one size fits all approach to supporting your mental and physical heath during this unprecedented time. This is because the environment, access to support, financial circumstances and family relationships differ, as does the extent of care you provide for others. However, if you take the time to be true to yourself, acknowledge your feelings and what you need to improve how you feel, you’ll be empowered to take action for desired (achievable) change.

Sounds easy on the surface, but often it’s not especially when you lose connection with your inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions. When you allow them to run havoc, rather than tend to them with compassion and care, your outer world experience is perceived through the lens of struggle and pain. Taking time to develop self-awareness will help you get to know yourself better; your personality and how you process experiences as a tool to support your mental health and wellbeing.

I invite you to reflect on the following questions …

Self-awareness is a form of stepping back and observing your thoughts and feelings as they unfold. It helps shine a light on the parts of your inner world that may get buried or unnoticed, the parts of you which have been neglected because you’re busy caring for others.

When you develop self-awareness you discover new things about yourself. Some you will like and others you won’t. Self-awareness is the first step to change and growth. This is because you can’t change what you don’t know. It helps you have a deep understanding of your values, strengths, weaknesses, coping mechanisms and habits. It helps you identify your passions and understand your personality and how it can help you in your life.

As a carer, self-awareness enables you to recognise when you’re being reactive, rather than communicating in constructive ways to have your own needs met. When you understand what your needs are to support your health and wellbeing, you’re half-way there to creating an improved lifestyle for yourself no matter the circumstances you find yourself in.

Here are 5 ways to increase your self-awareness as suggested by PositivePsychology.com

Remember that you already have some self awareness, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Strengthening this skill provides you with a valuable compass to effectively communicate and cope during the challenges in compassionate and constructive ways.

 

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