How to effectively deal with forced changes (4) Care
“Don’t take your health for granted, don’t take your body for granted. Do something today that communicates to your body that you desire to care for it. Tomorrow is not promised”
(Jada Pinkett-Smith www.Goodhousekeeping.com)
Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for others. This is emphasised when we fly on an aeroplane and the safety message encourages us to put our own mask on first before we attempt to help others. Self care can come in many forms: saying words of affirmation to ourselves, prayerful meditation, doing activities we enjoy, spending time learning a new skill, setting goals and self forgiveness. Accepting there are always going to be actions that we (in hindsight) may have avoided or that acting in careless ways toward ourselves or others requires us to practice the art of forgiveness, preserve our emotional health and wellbeing. In addition, when changes are forced upon us such as social distancing and restrictions to movement or loss of job role and finances the pressure and stress might cause us to be harsher, in word or behaviour, toward ourselves or our loved ones; seeking to preserve any rapidly diminishing resources.
I recall a situation when I was a young child and we had an unexpected and sudden house move; ending up as a family with one parent (my mother) and four children living in a tiny room. At one point I asked for an extra slice of Jamaican bun as I was still hungry after the small family meal. However, my mother, who was conscious of preserving the little food we had left to survive (at that time social benefits were not that accessible as a working parent) said no. I remember feeling devastated, I cried, we all cried; life as we knew it and access to regular income, food and resources would need to be reorganised. Being the responsible and caring parent she was, my mother gave me something to eat and knuckled down to ensure we all had enough food to fill our bellies and a safe roof over our heads until the circumstances changed. Care was taken over every future financial decision such as reducing waste, prioritising and caring for not only our current needs but those to come. I do not recall ever being in a similar situation growing up again.
Working together to provide care and support for others that are vulnerable in our families and community is also an important strategy to adopt. We have heard wonderful stories through the media of individuals, groups and organisations coming together to use their skills to provide important equipment, feed the hungry, house the homeless or provide some other much needed service. Such acts of collaboration and care are now becoming commonplace and not going un-noticed. Care that comes from unexpected places is often the most valued as it may not be able to be reciprocated or compensated for. Irrespective of our individual beliefs or values we can all appreciate the loving, kind or considerate act of another human being in times of distress. Care brings people together. (1 Corinthians 12:25 Holy Bible KJV)
Care is an important aspect of maintaining our emotional health and well being. It promotes peace in ourselves and others, even if we have to maintain boundaries and discipline for unacceptable behaviour. Disciplining a child with care and compassion at the centre will have much more of a lasting impact than doing it with a harsh and indifferent tone or intent. The warmth we show toward each other in our actions will return to us and be multiplied as we invest in our social and family relationships. Let us therefore be mindful of caring for ourselves and for others.
I hope these insights act as words of encouragement to you and your family and that you stay physically and emotionally safe in this uncertain period. If you require further support, please visit our website for further service updates or contact us. www.mustardseedcic.co.uk