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Care of Self vs Care of Others

Page history last edited by Holly Swyers 6 years, 5 months ago

How do you decide how to balance the needs of others and your own needs in a way that allows you to care for people you love without sacrificing your own health?



You need to come to a compromise with the people you love. You should understand what will satisfy both parties and come to a common ground. This is all about setting your priorities and finding a balance in maintaining relationships with those people, and your own physical and mental health. Grace Lawrence offered a suggestion to try listing out your priorities by what is the easiest and most rewarding. Karla Graves said, you “can’t take it all on” in means of balancing out the priorities with your health. Many of our interviewees mentioned to keep yourself at the top of mental and physical health is important. You won’t be able to give back to your friends and family if you need some time to recover. 



This may lead into sacrificing something for your own betterment. Hanna O'Hara took a vacation to Europe to get away from her job and from people she was helping because resulted to build up stress. It was a financial sacrifice, but it was necessary. As soon as she returned to work, from her vacation, she had a new drive. Thus, you should make time from yourself when necessary, but never neglect those who need you. Mary Smith suggested, “Don’t make others feel like they can’t ask for help. Say ‘no’ in a gentle and productive way. Take a step back to put yourself first.”  


Sharing the Burden

Having and assigning role in your group is another way of making sure people can get certain assistance if necessary. These roles should make the person happy in accomplishing and may even give them more motivation, or energy. Another interviewee, Rose Roth said, “Identifying what makes you feel your best physically, and then you can emotionally be there and be present and be a good friend, partner, family member, employee.” A role shouldn’t be overwhelming. A story from Erika O'Brianabout her son related to his being overwhelmed by his role and coming over to ask for help. You should understand that you are not alone and that asking for help is not only acceptable, but often welcome. Erika O'Brian also said, “It’s hard, but it's important to realize ahead of time that you are going to get hit with these things, and then to reassess and bring in other resources.” 


Morality and Acceptance

As a book-end to this topic, Rick Roman shared that “You have a moral responsibility to help [the people in your life].” Thus, shunning or neglecting people is obviously wrong. Roman also explained that if a person you love does something you oppose, like smoking cigarettes, you have to accept that the person do that and decide if it is possible to accept the person or not have the person to be part of your life. Acceptance is the key to help others, as well as for others to helps you.


This page was developed from interviews with:

Grace Lawrence, Karla Graves, Hanna O'Hara, Mary Smith, Rose Roth, Erika O'Brian, Rick Roman


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