The Costs of Over Caring
As we face uncertain times with new health concerns, financial unknowns, and constant demands on our time and energy, there are things we can do to break this habit of over caring:
1. Honestly think about WHY you’re doing too much, saying yes when you should be saying no, not asking for the support you need, and not putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs.
2. If you're exhausted, stressed, or on the verge of burnout, seriously consider whether there are things your loved ones could be doing for themselves, or even things they could be doing for you. Also, consider what you might be taking away from your loved ones by doing for them what they are quite capable of doing for themselves.3. Make a list of chores that need to be done on a daily and weekly basis and get your loved ones involved.
4. Have a family meeting. Include anyone you are caring for, directly or indirectly. Let them know what you need help with and get everyone to step up. For example, if your kids are home from school, instead of watching TV and playing video games all day, set up a schedule of who will be responsible for what. If you are assisting in the care of a family member, figure out how you can empower them to do as much as possible for themselves.
5. Hold people accountable to doing the things they are responsible for. For children, this may mean turning off electronics until chores are done. Instead of racing home to cook, clean, and take care of others, relieve yourself of the extra burden by teaching your loved ones to contribute more. Your family may not like this at first because they’ve gotten used to you doing almost everything, but setting up a new pattern of interdependence (versus dependence) will not only help you, but will benefit everyone in the long-run.