It’s Bell Let's Talk Day — a chance to open up about mental health and find strength in our shared experiences. Here at the County, we chatted with Sherri, one of the navigators who supports residents when they reach out to Family and Community Services (pictured here with Daisy Mae, one of her four donkeys!).
“I’m a people person, so the pandemic has been a big challenge for me. There’s been times of isolating to stay safe, and that’s been hard. For a while there, I felt my tank was getting really low. And I think a lot of people have felt that way through the pandemic. We feel we’re not presenting the best version of ourselves.
I decided I needed to find a way to take care of myself — not just for me, but so that I could keep giving really good care to others. For caregivers, self-care might sound selfish. It’s not. It’s what allows you to authentically show up for others.
So I added self-care to the agenda — I knew if I didn’t schedule it, it might not happen. Now, every day, I plan my ten-minute wellness break. I plan my lunch, taking the dog for a walk or going to talk to the donkeys. I also have what I call my one-minute miracles — a hand massage, a breathing exercise or even a sticky note on the bathroom mirror with an encouragement. Doing something like that, even for a minute, shifts my perspective so that I can come back to my work supporting people and know I’m ready. My brain is ready to find creative solutions and think outside the box.
With self-care, it’s good to remember you won’t always shift all the way to feeling happy. If I start my self-care cranky, maybe a minute later I’m just a little less cranky. It’s about moving on that continuum. We may not be at our best, but we can start to feel better.
With everything going on, we need to give ourselves some kindness and know we’re doing the best job we can with what we have. Let’s drop the question, ‘Am I doing this well enough?’ You are because you’re there.”
This story is part of our community recovery work to encourage empathy and connection as we continue to face COVID-19. Sherri is one of the friendly faces on our Family and Community Services team.
FCS offers support if you have questions about mental health, parenting, finances or even how to be a supportive friend or neighbour. Call 780-464-4044 to reach out!