It’s a beautiful thing to be able to help others, and it feels like you’ve so much to offer.
You see people who need support and guidance, and you want to do everything you can to help them. But sometimes being an emotional rock can put a serious strain on your own mental health. It’s important to recognize when you no longer have the energy or ability to support others during difficult times.
If you’re struggling with your own issues while trying to be there for others, you run the risk of burning out – here are some things I’ve learned about how my well-intentioned desire to help can backfire:
Why You Feel Like You Have to Help Everyone
You may be asking yourself, “Why do I feel like I’ve to help everyone?”
There are many reasons, but the main ones are:
- You care about other people.
- You want to make a difference in the world and make it a better place.
- You want to be a good person who helps others when they need help too!
Helping Others Can Be Overwhelming at Times, Especially When You’re Struggling With Your Own Problems
You’ve probably been told time and time again that helping others is a good thing, but sometimes it can be overwhelming – especially when you’re struggling with your own problems.
The best way to get through those stressful times is to take care of yourself first. So you don’t have to feel guilty if you need some time to yourself after hours of work or volunteering at the local soup kitchen.
If you can’t sleep at night because your mind is racing with thoughts of the people around you, take a walk outside or do something spiritual like meditation or yoga (or just breathe deeply). By taking care of yourself, you can be sure that you’re not just another exhausted person with nothing left in the tank when someone asks you for help.
You Can’t Help Others if You Can’t Help Yourself
It can be easy to feel selfish and think that the needs of others should come first. As someone who cares about helping others and improving their lives, you may feel that you should put your own feelings aside and help others with their problems before you take care of your own. Maybe it’s because you want others to see how selfless you’re; maybe it feels good to be a helping hand by solving their problems, or maybe it’s because they owe you something someday.
Regardless of Why You Want to Help Others, There Are Many Reasons Why It’s Better to Help Yourself First Than to Try to Help Everyone Else
First, if you aren’t at peace with yourself, how can anyone else be? Would anyone take advice from someone who doesn’t care about themselves? Would anyone trust the advice of someone who doesn’t even trust themselves?
Second, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can I expect the person with their problem/challenge, etc. to take care of themselves?
Everyone Has Boundaries
Everyone has boundaries, but you may not be aware of what they’re and how to set them.
Setting boundaries is an important part of self-care. It’s about knowing what you can and can’t do, what you’ll and won’t allow others to do, and how far you can go to help others. This doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t care about or want to help others – it just means you need to take care of yourself first so you can be there for others.
Here are some ways you can set boundaries:
- Know the difference between helping others and enabling.
- be honest with yourself about what you want and what you’re willing to put up with.
- let other people know where your boundaries are so they don’t cross them – especially if they’re family members or friends who’re prone to codependency or enabling behaviors themselves.
- don’t feel guilty about saying no; it’s okay not to be 100% there for everyone who needs something from us at once (or even for most!).
Sometimes Saying No Can Be the Best Decision You Ever Make
There are times when you just can’t help someone. If he or she calls you at 2 a.m., it may be because he or she needs to talk, or it may be because he or she’s trying to get rid of his or her problems by making others feel bad. This is sometimes hard to see, and it’s even harder not to feel guilty because you can’t always help everyone.
Saying “no” is an art – one that takes practice (and a healthy dose of self-confidence). But saying “no” once in a while doesn’t make you selfish – it makes you smart! You’ve limited resources (time, money), so it’s important not to waste them on things that don’t matter or aren’t worth doing. Life is short enough as it’s!
Focus on What You Can Do Instead of What You Can’t
It’s important to remember that sometimes you’re powerless. You can’t help yourself or others. You can’t change the world. Sometimes it’s time to focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do.
The important thing is that you focus on your own recovery before you volunteer in making a positive change for someone else. if you’re struggling with your own issues (confidence, challenging times, grief, stress, depression, mental health problems) consider how you can take better care of yourself.
Focus on your physical self-care, such as eating healthy and getting enough sleep; practice mindfulness techniques; get out in nature; spend time with loved ones and friends who support your recovery; seek professional help if needed! The more stable and balanced your life is overall, the better equipped you’ll be if a problem arises again later (or even today).
Helping Others Is a Good Thing, but It’s Hard Work
Whether it’s a family member, friend, or charity, you want to do the right thing and be kind or give advice, but it’s so easy to forget your own self-care. It’s important that before you help, you work on your own resilience so you don’t burn out or fall into social isolation because you can’t take the stress of others anymore. Having compassion for yourself is the most important thing you can do for others before you help them because if you have a negative emotion while helping, you’ll pass it on.
Also, Be Open to Accepting Help!
It’s okay to ask for help sometimes.
You don’t have to be ashamed of your needs, and you can’t help others if you don’t have compassion for yourself! I know it may seem like a daunting task, but being willing to accept help is one of the most important things we can do as humans.
You Also Can’t Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help
You can’t make someone choose happiness over sadness, health over sickness, and success over failure.
You can help by being a friend and offering support when you need it most. But ultimately, the decision to be happy, healthy, and successful rests solely with the person themselves.
When you’re helping someone who’s struggling with addiction or mental illness, you need to remember that you’re there to support them. This can be something as simple as active listening when they talk about their problems or being there for them when they need someone to talk to. It can also mean taking action by suggesting they seek professional help or trying to convince them to change their behavior.
Helping Can Sometimes Backfire
It can be very difficult to stop helping when you find yourself in a situation where you’re surrounded by people who need your help. It’s also hard to say no, and even harder to accept help from others.
You may be stuck in the moment and unable to step back long enough to realize that you’re not quite in control of your life yet, and it may be okay to let someone else take over for a while.
It’s incredibly frustrating when we try to fix everything that seems to be wrong in other people’s lives when we’d be better off focusing on making sure we’re doing well ourselves before attempting some grand gesture toward others.
- You don’t have to be in a good position to help others.
- You don’t have to be in a good position to help others.
- You can help others by being a good example.
- Listen and tell your story too.
- Forgive yourself. Forgive others too!
As long as you’re willing to help, you’ll be able to do so even if you aren’t well. Just make sure your own needs are met first and then focus on helping others. It can be difficult, but it’s worth it in the end.