Finding Balance: A Guide to Self-Care for Those Who Care for Others

Shot of a young person sitting alone on a mat and meditating on the beach at sunset

Taking care of others is a noble and fulfilling endeavour, but it can also be incredibly taxing. Whether you’re a caregiver, a healthcare professional, a teacher, or a parent, it’s easy to get caught up in meeting the needs of others and forget about your own well-being. However, neglecting your own self-care can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and even resentment toward those you’re caring for. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of self-care for those who spend their time caring for others, and provide tips and strategies for prioritizing your own well-being while still showing up for those who need you.

When we spend most of our time taking care of our communities in need, it’s easy to forget about ourselves. But what happens when we can no longer be there for others all the time? We may find ourselves feeling lost. It’s crucial to prioritize our own care to be able to show up for ourselves and others when we’re needed. Here are some tips for how to do just that:

  1. Set boundaries: When we’re constantly giving to others, it’s easy to neglect our own needs. Setting boundaries is essential in order to ensure that we have time and energy to take care of ourselves. This may mean saying no to certain requests or carving out specific time for self-care activities. Setting boundaries is not selfish – it’s necessary for our own well-being.
  2. Practice self-compassion: It’s easy to be hard on ourselves when we’re learning something new. However, practicing self-compassion is essential in order to maintain our motivation and confidence. When we make mistakes or struggle, it’s important to remember that we’re human and that it’s okay to ask for help.
  3. Find support: Learning to take care of ourselves can be challenging, but we don’t have to do it alone. Seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can be incredibly helpful. It’s important to surround ourselves with people who are supportive and encouraging.
  4. Focus on the basics: When we’re learning something new, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information out there. However, it’s important to focus on the basics. Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are all fundamental aspects of self-care. By focusing on these basics, we can build a strong foundation for our overall well-being.
  5. Make time for self-care: Self-care is essential for our mental and physical health, but it can be challenging to prioritize when we’re busy. However, it’s important to make time for self-care activities that we enjoy. This could be as simple as taking a bubble bath or going for a walk in nature. Whatever it is, make sure to schedule it into your day or week and treat it as a non-negotiable.
  6. Engage in collective healing: For marginalized communities, such as trans*, disabled, or racialized folx, self-care is essential, but it’s not always enough. Engaging in collective healing practices can be incredibly powerful for individuals and the community as a whole. This could involve attending support groups, participating in activism or advocacy, or simply spending time with other individuals who share similar experiences. Collective healing recognizes that our individual well-being is interconnected with the well-being of our communities. It also acknowledges the trauma and systemic oppression that marginalized communities have faced, and seeks to heal those wounds together. By coming together and supporting each other, we can build resilience and create positive change.

Taking care of ourselves is essential for our overall well-being. By setting boundaries, practicing self-compassion, finding support, focusing on the basics, and making time for self-care, we can prioritize our own needs and show up for ourselves and others when we’re needed. Remember, self-care is not selfish—it’s necessary.

n conclusion, taking care of others is a noble and rewarding pursuit, but it’s important not to neglect our own needs in the process. By prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, seeking support, and focusing on the basics, we can recharge and refuel ourselves, allowing us to show up for others with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Remember, self-care is not selfish—it’s necessary. By taking care of ourselves, we’re better able to take care of others, creating a positive cycle of well-being and fulfillment for all involved. So prioritize your own self-care—you and those you care for will be better off for it.


Grant, J. M., Mottet, L. A., Tanis, J., Harrison, J., Herman, J. L., & Keisling, M. (2011). Injustice at every turn: A report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Neff, K. D. (2011). Self-compassion, self-esteem, and well-being. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(1), 1-12.

Disclaimer: This blog shares general information only, not professional advice or recommendations. Consult healthcare providers for personal guidance. Decisions based on content are the reader's responsibility. Thank you.

Clayre runs a group practice of three queer and trans therapists, including youth therapist Audrey Wolfe, RCC, LGBT therapist Camber Giberson, RCC, CCC, and gender-affirming therapist Clayre Sessoms, RP, RCT, RCC, CCC, ATR-P. Work with us: book a session.

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