How to Ask For Help

The idea of asking for help often feels impossible. But as caregivers, we naturally tend to take on other people’s problems. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.

1. Write a List of Tasks

Write out things that need to be done on a reoccurring basis. Write down tasks and chores such as “picking up mom’s prescription” or “grocery shopping” to more emotional needs such as “chatting with dad for a few hours.”

2. Decide Who Can Help

Now that you have your list, write out a list of people who may be willing to help you accomplish them. You’d be surprised at how many people sincerely meant it when they say, “let me know if you need anything”. It is your responsibility to follow through and hold them accountable to that promise. Family, friends, neighbors, write them all out. Then begin matching tasks to people based off of their skills. And don’t rule out your sister who lives four states over. Even something as her calling once a week to check up on your parents can help.

3. Ask

Asking can be awkward, it can bring up those feelings of vulnerability you shoved deep down. But don’t be afraid, remember, your friends are your friends for a reason. If roles were reversed, would you do the same for them? Of course! People who offer to help typically want to, but unless you give them a direction or task, how do you expect them to follow through?

4. Accept

At this point you may feel so exhausted you don’t care if the dog walks himself. But sometimes even after you’ve asked, it’s hard to accept help. Remember that vulnerability isn’t the same thing as weakness. Admitting and accepting that you need help is often the stronger thing to do. Giving is a gift people want to give, so instead of shying away from help, accept it and try and pay it forward.

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