Weekly Goal Setting for Self-Care:
Aim for Small Wins!
As caregivers, we instinctually understand the importance of self-care.
We know how important it is to take care of ourselves. We may often hear phrases like “caregiver fatigue” and “caregiver burnout” from our children’s (or our own) care providers. The exhaustion of caregiving can feel relentless at times. The responsibility can feel so heavy, and, in those moments, we all know it!
Self-care, self-care, self-care… You know you need it! Of course you need it! And yet…
Everyone talks about self-care. It is an important topic for family caregivers. Self-care is essential in order for us to show up every day as our best selves — for ourselves, certainly, but also for our families, our kids, our partners and our communities.
And yet… For family caregivers, conversations around self-care always circle back to one, single issue: time.
It always comes back to finding the time for self-care, because…
How do you find time for self-care when caregiving alone keeps you running through your day?
How do you carve out time to prioritize your needs when you are responsible for meeting the needs of your children?
But, the answer is also just that: Time.
That is, we — as family caregivers — must find the time!
We must carve out moments to take care of ourselves.
And we all know this, too, but HOW??? How do you do it?!
You continually remind yourself that self-care is essential care.
You create a self-care mantra for yourself that you repeat over and over and over again until it sticks.
You set timers and daily calendar events for self-care because it should be a part of your day, every single day.
You discover whatever it is that works for you.
And then, you do it because self-care is really that important.
Start small! The goal, after all, is to establish a practice of continuous self-care that is sustainable and consistent over time. Caregiving is a long game, after all! (Click here for a previous blog post on the topic: “Creating a Self-Care Strategy in Three Steps”)
Another way to begin the practice of prioritizing self-care is to commit to one or two acts of self-care each day. In no way must these acts come anything close to grand gestures of self-love. Small — start small! These can be simple acts such as carving out time for a nightly skin care routine before bed or sitting outside by yourself for five minutes each afternoon before making lunch for the kids.
Simple acts of self-care.
That is the starting goal.
Here is a weekly self-care focused calendar to get your started.
Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.