If this title caught your eye, congratulations! You've taken the first step in recognizing that you may be experiencing the perpetual stress of taking care of others while disregarding your own needs. This is a call out to all parents that feel worn out and bogged down. Are you able to listen to other's problems without trying to "fix" them and/or take away their pain? When faced with uncertainty, do you feel that things will get totally out of control? These are just a couple of the questions asked on assessments to determine your level of stress (please see links below to take your own assessment).
Eric Gentry, a leading traumatologist, reveals that some individuals have learned (even as a young child) to always put the needs of others first; even if it means never tending to their own needs. Let's face it, parenting is the most difficult and important job out there. It becomes additionally arduous when faced with the challenging behaviors children exhibit who have experienced loss and trauma in their own lives.
Luckily, we can reduce our stress levels by implementing a few life style changes. For instance, strive to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Find time to walk 10-30 minutes during your day. Make an effort to eat healthier; recognize how sluggish you feel after eating a heavy meal. Even if you can only execute one of these strategies, you should be able to see a glimpse of some positive changes. Studies have shown that the first thing caregivers neglect when they are under stress are their social outlets and hobbies. So get out that book and fishing line and try to carve out some time for YOU.
The links below offer stress tests and compassion fatigue assessments that you can take even if you only have a little bit of time; they are quick and free of charge. Please view your results with genuine consideration, we want you healthy and around for a long time!
Recommended Book and Links:
Shield: A Framework of Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families by Sharla Kostelyk