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No One is Coming to Rescue You: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero and Rescue Yourself

By Holly McCorriston

In my previous work as a pharmacist, and now as a life coach and mental fitness trainer, I have always been passionate about helping others with common mental health symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fatigue. If you hadn’t noticed, I wrote common and NOT “normal.” There is nothing normal about experiencing chronic worry and the stress associated with it, although it is becoming more common.

I also found myself under a lot of stress and eventually burned out working in healthcare because I was always trying to solve issues and problems for patients and co-workers that hadn’t asked me to look after them.

Notice, where in your life do you prioritize the needs of others and put yourself dead last? Perhaps there is a part of you that says, “Well, Holly, if I don’t put the needs of my children ahead of my own, they won’t get fed! That’s just the way it is.”

And perhaps there is another part of you that whispers, “Wouldn’t it be easier to love and feed the family if felt better and wasn’t so resentful?” Feel free to take out resentful and insert any other feeling or state you may experience when it comes to looking after others in your life. Some examples may be exhausted, hopeless, frustrated, lost, etc.

Maybe you don’t even have kids or a partner to look after, but this objection to looking after yourself includes others in your life like clients, co-workers, extended family, ailing parents, the cashier at the grocery store, etc.

I want to remind you that no one is going to look after you better than you can. AND no one else in your life is a mind reader. Your partner, co-worker, boss, siblings, parents, and strangers DO NOT KNOW you are suffering OR what you need unless you learn to communicate with them.

And let me tell you, learning what you need and how to ask for it when you have been self-sacrificing and self-sabotaging for a long time is difficult work.

It is my mission to enable and empower whoever is willing to recognize that you can learn to prioritize yourself and become the hero of your own life. You do not need to remain a victim in your own life and it is also no one else’s job to come rescue you. You’re the only one that will do it.

That may sound hopeless and exhausting if you’re already there AND you have made it through all of the other difficult challenges and experiences in your life so far. You have a lot more tenacity and resilience than you may realize and things do not have to remain so hard.

It’s August now and we are heading back into the bustle of September… leaves falling, kids back in school, ongoing chaos in the world and on the news. Today I want to provide you with 10 ways you can start looking after yourself in this crazy world we live in.

No one else can get inside your own brain or body to change the neural pathways and chemicals you produce. No one knows you better than you. You cannot rely on your boss, parents, kids, co-workers, friends, or strangers on social media to come rescue you especially if like so many out there: No one knows you are struggling.

1. Instead of trying to look after everyone around you, adopt a role model mindset.

  • Who in your life is watching you every day and are you being the best example for them?  
  • Innately, we all want to help others and often when we believe we can’t help/fix others this can cause us to feel out of control – this creates anxiety.  
  • The best thing you can do to help others is lead by example and accept ownership and responsibility for yourself in each moment.

2. Seek out your own role models. 

  • Who do you admire? Who seems to be living in a way that you too would like to live? 
  • Get to know them. Ask these people questions. Follow them on social media. Read their content. Buy their books. Become friends with them if they are accessible to you in that way. 

3. When you catch yourself worrying about something or someone else, ask yourself this question: “Whose business am I in?” 

  • If it’s not YOUR BUSINESS, then get out of it. 
  • It is a perpetual waste of time and energy to try and fix problems that are not yours to solve AND this deprives the other person of the opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Note: Things like the weather and systems that you are not directly involved in would be considered the universe’s business. You don’t have to worry about them!

4. Try asking questions instead of giving advice. 

  • Any advice you would give to someone else is often advice for YOURSELF.
  • No one likes being told what to do, especially unsolicited. You will get better results and have better relationships when you are getting curious instead of trying to fix, change, or advise.
  • Open-ended questions that start with “What” and “How” are BEST as WHY can unconsciously trigger a defense mechanism in a lot of people. “Can you help me to understand?” is also a great open-ended conversation starter.

5. Practice mindfulness.

  • If this is the first time you’ve heard the term or you are familiar with it but have forgotten: mindfulness is being aware of the present moment. Paying attention to what is going on around you in THIS MOMENT, without associating a story to it.  
  • When you are performing ROUTINE TASKS (dishes, brushing your teeth), notice where your mind is. Can you focus on sensations in your body instead?
  • Look at your hands – what are they doing?
  • Notice the taste of the toothpaste and the tingles on your tongue.
  • Ever paid attention to what your tongue is doing in any given moment?
  • Listen to a song or music you love. Listen to any song. Notice something about the music you’ve never noticed before. Know all the words? Try to listen for and pick out the bass line instead.
  • Download the FREE Insight Timer app and search for mindfulness meditations. (Tara Brach is just one wonderful teacher you can look up.)

6. Turn off the news and stop scrolling.  

  • Curate your news feeds to focus on positive, uplifting topics.
  • This doesn’t mean you are ignoring what is going on around you, it just means you will have more energy and rational thinking to deal with the situation when or if it should actually arise. 

7. Be patient with yourself and others.  

  • Our western culture selves and bodies are used to living in the chemical soup that comes from a go-go-go lifestyle. Suddenly going slow-slow-slow is going to feel different because it IS different and your body and brain are going to take a second to realize that different isn’t bad.  

8. Reassure yourself from the future.  

  • Sit yourself down and write a letter to yourself now from a future version of you. What advice do you have for yourself? What kinds of things might future you have to say to you now? What actually matters 5 years from now? 10 years? 20?

9. Educate yourself about how your own nervous system works. 

  •  While it may seem like it’s the job of your healthcare team to know and educate you on that, you may be surprised to learn that nervous system health or trauma-informed care are not priorities in medical training. 
  • Your healthcare team also may not have time to educate or train you on anything. Most general practitioners see patients an average of 6 minutes according to a recent documentary by Dr. Gabor Maté called “The Wisdom of Trauma.”

10. Invest in yourself. Part of you may tell you it is unwise or selfish to spend money on yourself to get the resources you need to feel better AND you can choose to believe or question that reasoning.

  • You are worth investing in.
  • You are more capable of looking after others in your life when you are looked after.
  • You are the only one that can look after you the way you need to be looked after.
  • No one around you is a mind reader (just like you aren’t a mind reader). 
  • Your time and energy are also investments!

Do not wait until you are in crisis to start looking after yourself.

If you are a woman interested in additional support to putting yourself first and become your own hero, please know I am running my last group program for 2021 starting August 16. All the details and sign-up information are available at www.hollymccorriston.com/byoh-group and I am offering a free 30-minute 1:1 session for all sign-ups prior to August 6 AND a bonus resource for Kindersley Social readers.

I hope these tips and information were helpful and if they aren’t for you, please pass them along to someone else that may benefit. We all have those people in our lives we just wish would prioritize themselves for once! It is so rewarding to see those same people start looking after themselves and become their own heroes AND this effect is absolutely contagious to everyone around them.

I would love any feedback from readers on what you would like to learn more about in these articles! There is a feedback form (as well as many additional free resources) on my website at www.hollymcorriston.com or you can reach out to me via direct message on Instagram (www.instagram.com/holly.mccorriston) or Facebook! 

Thank you and just know: You have always been your own hero. 

 

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