What to Do When Everyone Needs Support but You’re Only One Person
young latina drowning in a phone screen, friends asking for emotional support, how to respond to calls for help

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people need a lot of interpersonal support. A year ago, on any given day, you might have needed to be there for one friend who got laid off or had a major health scare, or contributed to a single GoFundMe. (OK, or even a bunch of GoFundMes—things weren’t perfect then, either.)

Now, as the economy and the healthcare system melt down and literally everyone’s life is at risk, there’s an even more urgent need to show up for _everybody_—unemployed friends, isolated loved ones, aging or ill family members, elderly neighbors, local businesses, healthcare workers in desperate need of PPE.

“Everybody” who needs showing up for also includes you, the person who, like the rest of us, is tasked with all this caring. (And who might also be expected to do even more, if you’re a literal caregiver or have a sick relative.)

It’s a lot. There’s no way to take care of yourself and be all things to all people during a pandemic with a recession rising. One thing you can do, today, is make what I think of as a care budget: a way to think about where your most valuable resources—your time, money, and energy—are going each week. When you feel pulled in all directions, a care budget can help you functionally extend the help that you’re able to give and take care of yourself in the process.

Creating a care budget isn’t about ranking other people’s needs, which is a terrible, futile exercise. It’s about carefully considering your own needs, values, and strengths, and being honest with yourself about how much you actually have to give to others.

Read more in Vice.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.