We're having a bit of fun with this blog, but with a really important message. Yes, we may be carers, and much of our mind and day may be occupied with care. But.
And it's an important (some might say big) 'BUT'.
So here's the but. We're still our own person. In fact, we could argue that we can give our best care, if we remember and honour the fact that we are our own person, with our own dreams and aspirations.
Yes, things may have changed, yes the path and landscape may look different, but pausing to look at ourselves, "what we're doing", and perhaps more importantly "what we're not doing", is valuable. We're talking 'comfort zones'!
We can easily pop ourselves in a safe little box. Same routines, same faces. Same comfortable things.
I don't know about you, but in the past, I've sometimes felt like life was passing me by. Where had all the bravery of my early twenties gone?
We're brave for the people we care for. We advocate for them, go to appeals for them, learn and deliver new therapies for them, become nurses for them, and even go to tribunal for them! All things that were probably outside our comfort zones. All things that were worth being brave for.
Imagine if we hadn't stepped out of our comfort zones to do these things.
Now imagine, what we might be missing for ourselves, by playing safe each day!
"As carers, we often step outside our comfort zone for the person we care for. But, when was the last time we did it for ourselves?"
So, let's ask ourselves? When was the last time we did something a little brave? A small step outside our comfort zone?
"I get a real buzz, when I do something a little bit brave. Last month I climbed a climbing wall. I categorically 'knew' I could never do it. But that day, I found a little bit of 'brave' - and I did it! Right to the top! I felt AMAZING!!!! So much adrenaline and endorphins!"
Yes it feels icky - yes, we may have fear. Fear of being embarrassed of asking for a help from our friends and family, or what others may think, or of failing. And yes, we should listen to those feelings - they're there to protect us from danger! But it's a primal response from when we were living in caves, alerting us to 'real' danger. There are no sabre tooth tigers waiting to pounce. So listen to the fear, then assess whether there is actually any real danger.
Our comfort zone is where our behaviours and routine minimise risk and stress. It's where we can relax - so you can see the appeal! The problem with comfort is that it can kill productivity and creativity. It can also mean you miss out on a world of opportunities.
One of my favourite quotes:
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver
Being brave is an adrenaline rush. It makes us feel alive. It's energising and you might say, even addictive. Being brave might be standing up to someone. Or it might be letting your hair down and being a bit silly.
It might be applying for a job! It might be asking for help.
It's different for each of us. Why not pause and think about what good could come of you being brave? And what that brave thing might be? What doors might open for you, what relationship may improve? How good might it make you feel?
Here's me chatting to myself! About how stretching our comfort zones just an inch at a time, can lead to great places. Inch, by inch, and before you know it we're embracing opportunities, injecting endorphins and feeling alive! Thriving not just surviving.
What one small thing will you do today, to stretch your comfort zone? Let us know in the community!