The energy involved in being a parent carer.
This was the number 1 aspect that most impacted parental wellbeing in the recent wellbeing survey I carried out.
And I hope there is value in loudly naming this today…..how often is it really acknowledged?
It might be useful to say that many things can drain energy as a parent carer.
Some of the energy drainers shared in this survey were:
1. The constant battle & fight
2. Significant long-term impact on sleep
3. The rollercoaster of emotions the journey brings
4. Differing views in partnership & wider family
5. Finding proper services & childcare
6. Fearing about the future
7. Having to give up/change career
So today deeply honouring the energy expenditure that every parent carer experiences.
My intention with each of these survey findings in to respond to each aspect with resources, tools, thoughts, practices & steps in order to honour the voices heard & offer some small support.
So here are 5 small manageable steps that can help fuel you in times when energy is depleted:
1. Take moments – this is a powerful one & often underestimated in my opinion. Taking conscious micro moments of connection throughout your day is a powerful first step in refuelling & stepping out of a state of survival. This can be 2-3 breaths, feeling into your feet, mindfully putting on some hand cream!
2. Identify the aspects in your life right now that both fuel & drain your energy – Get some post its & a pen & get scribbling. Write down all the things that drain right now, I per note. Then write down all the things that fuel. Put this up on a wall or arrange on the floor in front of you. Once you have finished, step back & have a look – what do you notice? Consider what steps you can take to positively shift what you see. When we have an increased sense of agency, we are likely to have increased energy.
3. Create your own fuelling station! – Having your own space that’s set up just for you can be a great way to support energy levels. It can be the corner of a room, a special chair. Find your space, make it your own with things & reminders of what nourishes you. Then take a little time each day for some micro moments there, a pause, a few breaths, a cup of tea. Have that become your place that you refuel when needed.
4. Find someone to be deeply honest with – It’s so understandable to end up in a place of energy depletion, exhaustion & a state of survival. And the longer we stay there the more stuck we feel & the less possibilities we see for anything being different. Healing can’t begin until we can be deeply honest about the impact we are experiencing on our own energy & wellbeing. So, find someone to share how your situation & experience as a parent is impacting YOU. You can start with a friend, then consider finding someone outside of your immediate circle, a coach, a therapist, a counsellor.
5. Uncover your values – this can really support with energy. When we are clear on our most important values in life it helps us to sort WHAT we give our attention & focus to & HOW we engage in elements of our lives. This can be valuable as a parent carer. It can be useful to have something that supports you in choosing where & how you focus your time & energy as the amount of energy you have is not limitless & is incredibly precious.
In what ways do you fuel in times of energy depletion?
I’d love to hear what works for you.