If you’re someone who makes a habit of looking after other people you may forget to look after yourself, or to allow others to care for you. It’s really important that you recognise that you need and deserve care, too. And that you should take the time and effort to give yourself as much help as you are offering other people. So take this advice to heart;

• Be gentle with yourself !

• Remind yourself you are not a magician. You can’t work miracles.

• Recognise that other people’s problems are their property and their responsibility, not yours. You can’t fix everything nor should you try.

• Give support, encouragement and praise. Learn to accept it in return.

• Change your routines often and your tasks when you can.

• Learn to recognise the difference between complaining that offloads and makes you feel better, and complaining that just reinforces stress.

• Focus on one good thing that happened today.

• Schedule “withdraw” periods at least twice a week when you can be calm and at peace and no-one interrupts you.

• Say “I choose” rather than “I should” or “I ought to” or “I have to” or “I must”.

• Say “I won’t” rather than “I can’t”.

• Say NO sometimes – you can’t do everything. If you never say NO, what is your YES worth ?

• Being aloof, distant or indifferent is far more hurtful and harmful than admitting you can’t cope.

• Give yourself permission to have fun – often !

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