Sharing our caring stories with friends, families or even strangers, can bring many benefits. Here, we talk about why we might want to share our stories, things to think about and how we can do it in a way that's beneficial for us.
It's wonderful to see so many of our community share their stories in our Facebook group. Not only is it great for others to read, as there are often many comments of empathy and connection;
"We are not alone!"
but sharing can also be cathartic to the person writing or telling their story.
Why telling our stories can be helpful
Daily (ish) expressive writing of what's going on in life (often known as journaling), brings many benefits:
Reduces stress - In fact, regular writing over a four month period, was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality!
Improves our immune function! Keeping us healthier!
Keeps our memory sharp - and goodness knows there's enough that needs remembering!
Boosts our mood! :-)
Greater self awareness of our mind and body - we listen to what is going on in my mind and bodies. We can start seeing patterns, opportunities to help ourselves and much more.
You may have read our previous blog on creative writing, or seen Amanda (one of our caring community), talking about how journaling, and then creative writing, supported her mental health:
But even just 'getting it all off our chest' once, is helpful in the moment. We can write just for ourselves (no one else ever needs to read it), or we can share our experiences and thoughts in a way that supports us, and perhaps our community.
Why share our stories?
There are a few reasons why sharing can be helpful:
Friends and family get to understand us and our situations more, and may better understand what to say or how to help.
We will provide moments of empathy and support for others in similar situations. Knowing we are helping others is very healing for us.
We get to find our voice - by this we mean we learn how to express ourselves and think about things that have happened, and make sense of them.
Where and how to share
In a private diary? On our own blog? In a carer's community? On our own private Facebook page for family and friends? Recorded, such as on a podcast, if writing isn't our thing?
There are lots of options. Perhaps these questions may help us decide:
Who do we want to read our story/ know our personal 'stuff'? - this will shape the platform we use - public, private or a community.
How much personal stuff will we share? - keep in mind the dignity of the person we are caring for. And if we go public, keep personal information such as location vague.
What are we seeking by sharing? empathy, awareness, advice? providing support to others? or simply to download everything that's in our head?
How other people's stories help us
Reading other people's stories can be very healing for us. To see other people express something we are going through. Building a sense of belonging and community. With great opportunities to empathise and offer support or advice in return - or simply learn something ourselves.
"Carers have a huge database of stories, packed with knowledge, empathy and compassion. What an incredible tool!"
If you do follow blogs, or read stories in our community or in other places, Suzanne's blog about safe 'peer to peer support' is definitely worth a read.
Mobilise Carer's Stories
We share many stories within our Mobilise community, and they are always warmly received. These include stories within our blog, stories on our podcast and spontaneous stories (or snippets of stories!) in our Facebook community.
Every time a carer shares, there is value for the whole community. We're never ceased to be amazed by the warm, supportive response each story generates.
"Our stories create ripples that travel far and wide."
If at any point, you would like to share your story, we would be honoured to support you with as little or as much help as you need. Simply get in touch.