Does it hurt sometimes to take care of and look out for others? Are you feeling burned out from worrying about everyone else? This can occur when you are ONLY taking care of others. It is wonderful and healthy to help others, to be empathetic to others, and to accommodate other people. Giving back to loved ones and the community can help give meaning and purpose to your life. When you however are ONLY giving to other people, and not to yourself, you can experience burnout, fatigue, anxiety, and even deeper feelings of worthlessness.
You are important. You matter. You need to be treasured, cherished, and loved just like everyone else. Your feelings, thoughts, and need for help are just as important as everyone else.
If we keep this last thought in mind, what does it look like when you are as important as everyone else? Well, you take care of yourself AND other people. So, it looks like this ...
Suppose your friend asks for help tomorrow with an all day moving project at his or her house. You also have a project at home you planned on completing that same day. Taking care of you both looks like this in your response. "Sure, I'd love to give you a hand! I have some things to clean up at home tomorrow in the morning and early afternoon. I can come over about 2:00 and pitch in wherever I can help." In this way you are honoring your own commitments AND you are also there for a friend who has asked for your help.
The next time you are asked for help or want to be there for someone else, try creating an outcome using the word "AND." Think about the people in your life AND you. Your glass will be full and your loved ones and family will have full glasses too.
Have a great day!