Learning to care for yourself: Step by Step coaching
The subject of self-care is a very multifaceted one and, in my eyes, goes beyond "Why don't you treat yourself to a relaxing bath?". Which is not to say that I have anything against bubble bath and a delicious tea, please don't misunderstand. Beyond that, however, I offer you to also take a closer look at the following topics:
first of all, the permission for self-care, for your needs and desires
being able to work (a lot) as the predominant source of self-worth, identity and stability
dealing with exhaustion, illness and the need for help
juggling existential worries, lack of time, responsibility for others and the need to rest and relax
taking responsibility for your own life - what exactly does that mean?
inherited values (hard work vs. laziness, selfless vs. selfish, responsibility and sense of duty, managing without asking for help)
free time, having fun or going on vacation (how does that even work?)
self-care and self-compassion as tools for tending to old wounds and stabilizing yourself mentally and physically
questioning discipline & "sucking it up" as a coping mechanism
packing an imaginary self-care bag for daily use
The goal here is to find and design your own version of self-care, maybe even choosing a different word for it. The idea is to have a close look at how you're dealing with yourself and your life as it is - with all the needs and responsibilities that entails.
And if this close look reveals a desire or the need for change, to address it within your means and at your own pace. For yourself and for those who love you.
Of course, we can also meet, if you have other issues and concerns about the topic of "having grown up too fast".
"those who grew up too fast": who could that be?
Of course, anyone who feels addressed by this and everyone is welcome! In addition, there are certain circumstances that could have led to a person having to take on (too) much responsibility as a child or young adult - for themselves, but often also for others. And thus having had less of a chance to grow up in a child appropriate way.
These are, for example people...
who were abandoned early in life whether through death of a parent, divorce or other reasons
who grew up under uncertain or challenging circumstances - due to poverty and financial insecurity, flight or migration, growing up without stable family relationships or in foster care
who grew up with traumatized, addicted or abusive parents (or other close family members) - or with parents and family members who had mental or physical health limitations
who - for whatever reason - were neglected or particularly stressed as children or adolescents
Resilience as an important resource
As strange as it may seem at first glance: those who've been confronted with such experiences and challenges early in life, have - besides potential disadvantage and damages - often developed greater resilience. They have learned numerous coping mechanisms - and some of them may also have experienced support and solidarity throughout their lives.
Not seldom, these individuals have learned to persevere, to keep it together, to be smart, and to be strong, more perhaps than other children their age. These are all invaluable resources for adult life. Self-Care as a challenge At the same time, for some of those who grew up too fast, it can be quite a balancing act to have these resources and to defend them at all costs. Namely, when as adults they reach their own limits. Or perhaps they don't even realize that they have long been living beyond their limits, that their strength can be exhausted in certain phases of life.
Terms such as self-care, rest or slowing down may trigger fear or even resistance then. They may also be perceived as selfishness or as an unnecessary luxury that not everyone can afford.
And then there may also be those who learned early on to be a lone warrior and secretly feel the desire to be cared for by others - but have no idea how to ask for it. These are precisely the hurdles I would like to help tackle.