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Mum, carer and CSW Community Connector Team Lead, Jacqui talks about the importance of letting the G word go.

It’s obvious really, but there is, of course, another side to life. It’s often difficult to see it and there is a huge sense of guilt associated with thinking you might even enjoy it. It takes energy to balance the guilt with desire; especially if it might be upsetting to others and something you’ve forgotten how to do.

Whether we like it or not, the rest of the world does not stop and wait for us to catch up when we are down or behind, or busy looking out for others. The seasons don’t wait, opportunities pass by and friends move on. We have every right to seize a moment, crack a smile and look after ourselves, but we are so conditioned to think we are not worthy or deserving of these ‘luxuries’ that we often shake our head and keep on going.

Looking after somebody else is not always easy and looking after yourself gets overlooked time and again until you are brave enough to try it; to challenge your own thoughts that others should always come first.

When you find the strength to say ‘no’ to a request or demand from somebody else, or you are encouraged to take some time out for those simple pleasures that don’t always come easy, this is what you discover:

  • There is still pleasure in ice cream, flowers and sunshine. Nobody will judge.
  • Baking a cake is relaxing. You can still share the results.
  • Shopping is possible without thinking about something or somebody else all the time.
  • You can have coffee with a friend and discover more of ‘the other side of life’.
  • A trip doesn’t have to include everybody. That way you have something to talk about.
  • Talking and sharing with others feels ok.
  • Bubble bath smells better than cleaning fluids.
  • Friends are gold dust and want to help.
  • Relaxing is strange but good for you.
  • You have more emotional reserves to carry on caring.