Care for the caretaker

Many of our members care for others. Either by running or working with a non-profit with outreach to those overcoming human trafficking. Or by developing programs to end the causes of human trafficking. Some are caring for young children or aging parents. Regardless of how you care for others you might experience the same stresses. If you are a caregiver, taking the time to care for yourself is an important step in helping others. Basically, as you would on an airplane, put your oxygen mask on first.


Some steps you can take to care of yourself:


(1) Celebrate the small stuff. Care giving has many rewards. Practice gratitude and remind yourself every day of your accomplishments, even if they feel small. Everything matters and any step in the right direction makes a difference. Read this article on WebMd for ideas and how gratitude affects health.


(2) Laugh every day! Laughter has healing powers. Read this Mayo article for more.


(3) Also let yourself cry. Harvard has this to say.


(4) Accept that you can’t do it all. We all want to make a difference. Focus on your strengths and then partner with or refer to other groups to cover other areas.


(5) Ask for and accept help. Create a list of where you could use help. Is it creating or sharing social media posts, outreach, fundraising ideas/attendance/advertising, office management? When someone asks what they can do, bring your list out and ask them to pick something and then let it go.


(6) Set realistic goals and then prioritize your tasks. Establish a daily routine to keep moving on your goals.  Remember to add some reflective time in there.


(7) Take a 10 minute break from time to time during your day. Just take a walk and let your mind wonder. If you like guided meditations this is a good one for stress relief.


(8) Connect with others and share not just ideas, but honest emotions around frustrations, progress and successes. 


(9) Take responsibility for your health and prioritize it! Keep a good sleep routine, find time to move your body and make healthy food choices. Own that it is up to you to make sure you are in good health.


(10) Finally, identify and shift any hang ups about taking care of yourself and accepting help. Yes, this is a big one with far reaching implications, but if you aren’t taking care of yourself it might be important to figure out why. As an example, do you believe it is selfish to prioritize yourself? There might be some lifelong habits to look at and change. Our thoughts are our beliefs which lead to our actions. Challenge them.


Take care of yourself so you can help others. Pretty simple, but not very easy. If it were, we would all do it perfectly every time. That’s OK. Any step in the right direction makes a difference.


Moving intention into Action,

Michelle Seets

Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking President, 2022-2023