Many caregivers struggle to ask for assistance. Once we do, we may struggle with doubts. Among those “am I asking too much?”.
How do we determine whether an ask is too little, too big, or just right? (Sounds a little like Goldilocks on asking.) We need to answer:
- What and when to ask
- Who to ask
- Why you NEED to ask
Thoughts on asking
Self-care involves asking for assistance.
Determining what, when and who to ask are part of it. Sizing the ask follows the answering of those questions. In the previous drip we touched on our fear of perceptions by others keeping us from asking for support.
Taking what we discussed last week, your modified self-talk (claiming your fear) might sound like this:
I’m feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do. I’m afraid if I ask for help people will think I’m weak. But, asking for help will allow those who have offered us support to do that. And, it will let me take a moment for self-care. It will allow me to be present with the one for whom I am caring.
(Notice you have identified the WHY in the claiming process.)
Take action by drawing up a list of tasks others can complete without and alongside you. If something is bog like cleaning house, identify chunks approximating how long each will take. (This step answers the what question.)
Address the WHO can take many forms. Maybe you have a list of people who offered to help. You have family, friends and neighbors. Maybe you know someone who’s strength is organizing folks and tasks.
Pick someone and ask. (Share the responsibility and move forward.) That first ask, that first request is the most challenging. Be specific about what you need. If they say they can’t, thank them. If they say “no, but I can….” see if you have that or something similar on your list.
As you go through this process you’ll become more adept at sizing the tasks.
There are many more aspects to asking for support. Among those is when and more on the size. We’ll address those in our next post.
Remember, you are not alone. Reach out for support. Care your yourself-care.