Self-care for helpers, healers, and caregivers

Helpers, healers, and caregivers: I want to support you so you can continue doing what you do so well. Being a helper/healer/caregiver might be your passion or calling. It could be so fulfilling in so many ways AND still be hard. Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that it has to be either/or. The truth is that it’s often both. We don’t want to de-sensitize ourselves from feeling stress or becoming emotional about our clients/children and their issues. That wouldn’t make us human. There’s no shame in being affected by the people we support. Many helpers, healers, and caregivers are highly sensitive and intuitive people who by the nature of their gifts in working with people are also taxed by them as well.

In order to do our life’s work, we need to take care of ourselves. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way. I used to gloat about my high tolerance for pain (both physical and emotional) and it wasn’t until I said this to a functional medicine doctor that I realized this wasn’t a good thing. A lot of the time, I don’t respond to stress in obvious ways like getting a cold, having headaches, racing thoughts, rapid heart-rate, etc. By the time I picked up on the fact that I was indeed very stressed, I was diagnosed with stage 3 adrenal fatigue. Ouch. Over the years, I’ve made my health a priority and re-sensitized myself in listening to my body’s stress cues so I can take care of myself before it becomes taxing on my body and psyche. It’s like what they say about dehydration: by the time you actually feel thirsty, you’re probably very dehydrated already.

I’ve created this open studio group for you in mind helpers, healers, and caregivers. Think of it as self-care, and outlet to process, and a gift to yourself in letting someone else hold space for you. Before you get to the point of feeling like you need to throw in the towel or make a career change, consider making your well-being a priority by tapping into your creative and intuitive self. As with all things art therapy related, you do not need to be an artist or have made art in the past 10 years to benefit from making art. All that’s required is a sense of wonder and curiosity at what might show up.

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