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How To Balance Giving, Receiving and Self-Care

In my journey with chronic illness, I've realised how vital it is to strike a balance between giving, receiving, and self-care. Each type of care plays a unique role and fulfils different needs. Understanding and integrating all three into our lives can significantly improve our health and happiness. Let's explore the importance of care in our lives, especially for those of us living with chronic illnesses.


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The Importance of Care

Care is fundamental to our well-being, it is not just about the physical acts of looking after ourselves or others, but it also encompasses emotional and mental support. Care can be as simple as a comforting hug from a loved one when we’re feeling low or as involved as regular medical treatments and lifestyle adjustments we make to manage our chronic conditions.

Giving Care

Giving care often comes naturally to many of us, especially if we have a nurturing personality, it’s a way to show love and support to those around us. However, it's important to ensure that while we are giving care, we don't neglect our own needs. Chronic illness can make this balance tricky, as we might have limited energy and resources. The act ofgiving care strengthens our connections with others and reinforces our sense of community. Whether it's helping a friend through a tough time or volunteering, these acts can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

Receiving Care

Receiving care can be challenging, especially for those of us who value our independence. Yet, it is crucial to recognise when we need help and to be open to accepting it, asking for help does not make us weak; it is a sign of strength and self-awareness. By allowing others to care for us, we create an environment of mutual support. For instance, last week, I struggled with severe fatigue so I asked my mom for a hug. This simple act of receiving care provided immense comfort and reminded me that it’s okay to lean on others when we need it.


Self-care is the foundation of managing chronic illness, it involves daily habits and practices that help us maintain our physical, mental, and emotional health. This includes everything from medical treatments and exercise to hobbies that bring us joy and relaxation. During times when my energy levels are low, I focus on self-care by taking short walks, practising mindfulness, or simply resting. These activities help recharge my batteries and improve my overall well-being.

Balancing the Three Types of Care

Achieving a balance between giving, receiving, and self-care requires mindfulness and practice. Here are some tips to help integrate all three into your life:

  1. Set Boundaries: Learn to say no when you need to and communicate your limits to others.

  2. Ask for Help: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your support network when you need assistance.

  3. Prioritise Self-Care: Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine.

  4. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly assess how you’re balancing the three types of care and make adjustments as needed.

Remember, it’s okay to need more care on some days and less on others. By recognising and respecting our fluctuating needs, we can create a more sustainable and supportive environment for ourselves and those around us.


The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast

The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast challenges listeners to believe that all chronic illnesses can be put into remission. Alex is on a mission to engage, educate and empower those living with a chronic illness who want to change their life for the better. Join your host as she shares her journey of living with a chronic illness and invites expert guests to break down complex niches of health, science and wellness. Each episode is a lifeline for listeners, offering practical strategies, emotional support, and a sense of community. 

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