So, real talk, I’m a bit of an archetype.
On average, I get at between 3-5 phone calls/emails/instant messages a day from people who need to vent. Once a week, a stranger, unprompted, tells me something difficult going on in their life. In my 11 person group house, I am the designated “mom.” In college, was that person who took care of my sick one-night-stand and his hung over roommate the next morning. Working in a social services-adjacent field, I am what’s called a “helping professional.” Even in my office of helping professionals, my coworkers say I put metaphorical flowers on the acerbic, get-a-grip quips the rest of the team wishes they could say.
I am a caretaker through and through. It’s simultaneously what gets me up out of bed each morning and what occasionally keeps me riddled with anxiety at night. Over the past 10 years, I’ve put a lot of thought, learning, and intentionality into becoming a better caretaker. There are many ways to do it, but here are the five essential ways I work to maintain a healthy relationship with myself while I help others: Continue reading